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Kerala to showcase Silver Line among 100-plus projects at Ascend 2020 today

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the ASCEND 2020 Global Investors Meet in this industrial city

Press Trust of India  |  Kochi 

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala is set to explore the prospects of a quantum jump in its economy as the state government is hosting from Thursday a two-day global investors meet that will present 100 plus big-ticket projects with feasibility.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the ASCEND 2020 Global Investors Meet in this industrial city, where 2,000 delegates will converge with the aim of lending pace to the Ease of Doing Business in the state.

Organised by the states Department of Industries, ASCEND 2020 at Lulu Bolgatty International Convention Centre will feature nine sessions including six panel discussions, organisers said.

The 100-odd projects, ratified by KPMG as viable based on a study by the professional services MNC, covers sectors such as petrochemicals, agro & food-processing, defence, life sciences, aeropolis, tourism & hospitality, ports and harbour, fisheries, infrastructure, mobility development, logistics and electronic hardware.

Of the projects, 18 (each with investment of above Rs 100 crore) have been classified as mega. The other categories, in the descending order, are large, medium and small.

The Chief Minister will declare the meet at the session to be presided over by Industries Minister E P Jayarajan and the inaugural day will see two panel discussions led by top industrialists.

Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL) will showcase the Semi High Speed Rail (SHSR) corridor project before captains of industry and policy makers on the opening day of the meet.

Billed as a game-changer in Keralas infrastructure and economic development, the Rs 66405-crore Thiruvanathapuram- Kasaragod rail corridor, named as Silver Line, will be one of the major projects to be showcased at the two-day meet.

Silver Line is a project of K-Rail, a joint venture of Kerala Government and the Ministry of Railways. It has been cleared by the state Cabinet and also received in-principle approval of the Ministry of railways which enables pre- investment activities.

Organisers of the investors meet said there are investment opportunities in Transit Orient developments, Engineering-Procurement-Construction contracts worth Rs 38,000 crore for civil, electrical system works and supply and operation ofrail coaches among others.

Opportunity also exist for any investor to directly invest in the project SPV, they said.

Trains running on Silver Line will be covering the 532 km end-to-end distance from Kochuveli in the state capital to Kasaragod by four hours, which now takes around 12 hours.

The completely green project also promises a set of long-term benefits like sharply reducing the road congestion caused by private vehicles and freight carrying trucks and significantly bringing down air pollution from emissions by petroleum fuel-driven motor vehicles.

According to officials, the project will generate over 50,000 jobs during its construction and 11,000 people will get employment on completion.

First Published: Wed, January 08 2020. 20:45 IST