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‘All Development Projects To Be Dealt the Same Way Like SilverLine’: Kerala HC

The high court set 6 April as the next date of hearing, when it said these matters would be possibly disposed of.

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Law
2 min read
‘All Development Projects To Be Dealt the Same Way Like SilverLine’: Kerala HC
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The Kerala High Court on Tuesday, 29 March, said that the Supreme Court has observed that there needs to be a pan-India approach in matters such as the SilverLine project and therefore, this standard would be applicable to other projects in the country which face the same opposition as faced by the semi-high speed rail corridor in the southern state.

The high court was referring to a recent ruling by the apex court directing a hands-off approach by the courts in dealing with pleas opposing major developmental projects in the country, news agency PTI reported.

In view of the apex court’s Monday (28 March) decision, dismissing the appeals against a high court order which permitted the Kerala government to go ahead with its SilverLine survey, Justice Devan Ramachandran said, all large scale projects, including waterways, national highways and bullet trains, have to be dealt with the same yardstick.

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The Supreme Court on Monday had turned down a batch of appeals against the Kerala HC order stating the state government has the powers to conduct a survey and mark properties appropriately for conducting a social impact assessment (SIA) in connection with the SilverLine project, PTI reported.

Justice Ramachandran of the Kerala High Court added that “those trying to implement projects here, would be opposing it at other places and therefore, this Supreme Court order would be applicable to them too”.

‘Are You Trying To Scare People?’: HC Asks State Govt

The high court was hearing several pleas which oppossed the ongoing SilverLine survey process as well as the type of stones laid by the K-Rail — a joint venture of the Kerala government and the Railway Ministry.

The High Court stated that entering people's property to lay stones without prior notice or information would "startle" and "terrorise" them and asked whether that was the purpose behind the ongoing survey which has generated "so much controversy and unrest".

"Why should K-Rail insist on a pole of this nature? Are you trying to scare people? Do you give them prior notice before entering their property for a survey? Are you not required to do so? If the officials enter their property suddenly one day without prior information, it will certainly startle people…It is your (government) haste which is causing the problem. You have reached a situation where so much controversy and unrest is going on," Justice Ramachandran was quoted as saying.

The high court set 6 April as the next date of hearing, when, it said, these matters would be possibly disposed of, PTI reported.

The SilverLine project is being opposed in various parts of the state with the general public as well as Congress-led United Democratic Front opposition and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) protesting against the survey wherever it is being conducted.

The 530-kilometre long SilverLine semi-high speed rail corridor which starts from Thiruvananthapuram will have stations at Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode and Kannur before reaching Kasaragod. The entire journey from one end to the other is expected to take around four hours.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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