Opponents Spread False Information About SilverLine Social Impact Survey: VK Ramachandran

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Deputy Chairman of Kerala State Planning Board says it is not always possible to reconcile the costs incurred by families affected by the SilverLine semi-high speed train project with the collective benefits

Deputy Chairman of Kerala State Planning Board says it is not always possible to reconcile the costs incurred by families affected by the SilverLine semi-high speed train project with the collective benefits

According to VK Ramachandran, Development Economist and Deputy Chairman of Kerala State Planning Board (KSPB).

“The government recognizes the fact that the cost-benefit factor captures the net benefits at the societal level and not at the individual level. Nevertheless, this conundrum is reconciled globally by all governments through internationally accepted principles of compensation (market price for land ), rehabilitation (livelihood options) and resettlement (alternative housing),” said Professor Ramachandran The Hindu in response to a question about how the project would benefit people, especially those who are on the verge of losing their land and homes.

Prof Ramachandran said market prices for land in rural areas will double depending on the distance from the urban area. “In addition, 100% solatium will be added to the market value. Compensation to affected households further includes other components related to housing, livelihood protection, etc. These will be determined for each individual household based on the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study. Unfortunately, motivated opponents of this project are spreading misinformation about the process of the study as well as the components of compensation,” he said.

The head of the state planning board said conventional cost-benefit analysis does not always capture the transformative potential of such infrastructure. “This is all the more true in a developing economy of our nature, which is in the early stages of building such climate-responsive infrastructure. The expertise and services of professional consulting organizations are used to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and establish the cost-benefit of the project. This is publicly available information,” he said.

Professor Ramachandran said these estimates will be further scrutinized by the expert panel on the social impact assessment in line with the requirements of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Procurement Act 2013. , land rehabilitation and resettlement and the right to fair compensation and land transparency. Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Kerala) Rules, 2015.

“From an environmental perspective, we need to optimize the scale of land use change as well as the reduction of carbon emissions. The SilverLine project scores higher on these parameters compared to the road. It also brings enormous comfort to passengers by improving the speed of mobility. This will help increase the share of public transport,” he said.

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