There are some like D. Dhanuraj, chairman of city-based think tank Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), who are sceptical of the project. “I am not against the project. But passenger patronage is number (volume) driven. Many changes will happen in our lives in the coming years with the introduction of 5G, 3D printing, etc…”
“I wish the railway track doubling through Kottayam and Alappuzha is completed at the earliest and steps taken to improve the speed to over 100 kmph. Issues such as slow-moving trains can be overcome if a fraction of the cost of the mega project is spent on straightening curves, introducing automatic signalling, etc., in the existing railway corridor. For this, both Railways and the State must come up with pro-active measures,” Mr. Dhanuraj said.
There are others such as Rittu Jacob who are awaiting the commissioning of the Silver Line rail project. “People would prefer to live in less-expensive towns such as Kottayam, Alappuzha, and Thrissur and and travel to work in Kochi, since the State is planning an integrated station at Infopark for Silver Line and Kochi Metro,” he said.
Commuters from other districts will opt for Silver Line if the fare is advantageous as compared to investing in a house in Kochi. Already over half of Kochi residents are from other districts, said Mr. Jacob.