THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Protesters are planning to move the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the proposed High Speed Rail Corridor as the State's ambitious project started gaining momentum.
They say the State government needed to acquire 15,780 acres of land and evict 2.2 lakh people living along the 526-km stretch of the corridor linking Thiruvananthapuram and Kasargode.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC), which is preparing the detailed project report (DPR) to be submitted by March 31, has sought police protection to finish its field survey.
An action council claiming support of around 55,000 families also submitted another memorandum to the Chief Secretary demanding the project shelved. M. T. Thomas, a member of the council, said it would displace people in large numbers.
“We are awaiting the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report and the DPR to approach the NGT. It goes through an environmentally sensitive region,” said Mr Thomas.
Environmentalist and chairman of the action council C. R. Neelakantan said the project was “superficial and "inappropriate”. “As per the current estimates, the project cost is Rs 1.18 lakh crores.
The cost is likely to escalate and this would turn into a huge financial burden for the State, which is struggling to pay the salary and pension,” said Mr Neelakantan.
As per the pre-feasibility report, the activists claimed, around 50 meters of land would be “frozen” on both sides of the track. “Though the acquisition is limited to 20 meters, a landowner will lose 120 meters in the no-construction zone. The authorities are trying to cheat people,” said Mr Thomas....