Sunday 19th of November 2017

Indian Railways's green signal for 3rd and 4th line linking Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod

Category: National
Published: Wednesday, 01 November 2017

Thiruvananthapuram: Indian Railways has agreed in principle to the main suggestions put forward by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation for railway development in the State. This landmark agreement came in a meeting between the Chief Minister and the Railway Board Chairman. Kerala Rail Development Corporation is a joint venture between the Kerala Government and the Indian Railways in which both have equal shares.

It was agreed in principle to lay down a third and fourth track parallel to the existing double line between Thiruvanathapuram and Kasargod. Kerala was hoping to run High-speed trains on it, but the Chairman has informed that there are technical constraints and will consider semi-speed trains instead. It was suggested to proceed ahead with the survey work. The line between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasargod is 575 Km long. Railway Development Corporation has already developed a detailed project report for laying the third and fourth lines alongside the 125 KM broad-gauge between Thiruvananthapuram and Chengannur. The estimated cost is ₹1943 Cr. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has suggested the construction of new lines between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasargod. The expected cost is ₹16,600 Cr. 

The incapacity of lines is a deterrent in running more trains in the State. In this situation, Kerala has decided to invest in new lines along with the Railways. The board was suggested to prepare a detailed project report on the Thalassery-Mananthavady line before December 31st. The 247 Km long line is estimated to cost ₹3,209 Cr. Presently, the rail distance between Thalassery and Mysuru is 810 Km. The new line can shorten the travel time by 12 hours and the distance by 570 Km. If Indian railways agrees to this proposal, it can be completed by 2024. The Chairman has given assurance that Erumeli-Punalur line will be considered for development. The 65 km long path will cost ₹1,600Cr. A 15Km line between Ettumanoor-Pala that connects to the Sabari line will also be considered. 

Kerala has submitted the Balaramapuram- Vizhinjam international seaport line, 10 km long Kochi International Airport line and a railway terminus in Ernakulam for consideration of Railways. A decision was taken to prepare project reports for the development of stations in Thiruvanathapuram, Ernakulam and Varkala. If land is obtained, the work of Kochuveli terminal can be completed by march of 2019. CM said in the meeting that the Railways must bear the cost of Sabari line as it was sanctioned earlier. State shall contribute half the expenses of the new projects. CM also requested funds for completing works of Angamali-Sabari, Guruvayur –Thirunavaya and Ernakulam- Ambalapuzha lines.
The Palakkad railway coach factory was announced in the 2008-2009 railway budget. State Government has handed over 239 acres of land to the railways for establishing it. However the Railways has not done anything for it. Chairman has assured that this matter will be looked into. Chairman gave assurance on the Nemom Terminal project. Lack of a terminal in Nemom has adversely affected the railway development in Thiruvanathapuram. Chairman also agreed to Chief Minister’s request to arrange bio-toilets in all trains running through the State. This will help in making Kerala a green corridor. Chairman also agreed to CM's suggestion for constructing rainwater harvesting pits on lands under the control of Railways.

Chief minister said that considering the importance railway development has lead the Government to form a a joint venture with Railways. The corporation has prepared projects worth ₹25,000 Cr so far and has suggested additional lines for a distance of 1039 km. CM demanded that the State must be given the liberty to implement projects within the prescribed costs. These projects will usher in a massive overhaul of the basic infrastructure in the State.