Kerala submits memorandrum to Centre on railway development

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has submitted a detailed memorandum to Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu on railway development in the State.

The State's demands include Angamaly-Sabari Railway Line, suburban rail services, coach factory at Palakkad, allocation of funds to complete ongoing projects, and new trains.

The memorandum says that the Angamali - Sabari Rail Project is a dream project of Kerala which connects the world famous pilgrim centre Sabarimala with Angamali. The project was first declared in the 1997-98 Railway Budget and the line passes through three major districts viz., Ernakulam, Kottayam and Idukki.

RailwayIt requests the Union Minister of Railways to make a favourable declaration, according necessary approvals in the Budget Speech 2016-17 and sufficient provision in the Railway Budget 2016-17.

It notes that in order to avoid passage of the line through the buffer zone of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, and for ease of construction and resultant reduction in cost, the alignment has been fixed at Erumeli instead of taking it up to Azhutha.

It calls for completion of Doubling/Electrification/Gauge Conversion/New Line/ Survey works and provide Rs. 602 crores for them in the forthcoming Budget against Rs. 375 crore in the current year. Sufficient funds may be provided for installing automatic signaling system in Kerala to utilize the full capacity of the existing lines so as to run maximum number of trains including Suburban Trains.

The memorandum further seeks development of Rail Infrastructure for connecting the proposed Green Field Airport at Kannur and the Vizhinjam Seaport with the existing rail infrastructure.

Funds are also sought for the proposed Nilambur-Nanjangud Railway Line. “The236 km-long Nanjangud –Sulthan Bathery- Nilambur railway line will help the comprehensive development of a vast area in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.A new shorter realignment survey for the second phase Sulthan Bathery –Nilambur to save 80 km and thus Rs 2000 crores may also be considered.

“Government of Kerala has agreed to bear the pro rata share of 50% of the cost of construction. Sufficient provisions may kindly be made for the project as Railway share in the Railway Budget 2016-17,” it said.

The other new lines sought are between Thalassery, Kerala & Mysore, and Kanhangad – Panathoor – Kanivoor. Suburban Rail Services are proposed to improve the public transport system from Thiruvananthapuram to Chengannur. “The process for the in-principle sanction by the Government of India and Ministry of Railways is to be speeded up and an MOU to be signed between Government of Kerala and Indian Railways covering all the aspect of the project including the structure, institutional arrangements and the funding mechanism.” it said.

It urges that the Chief Administrative Office of the Railways should be retained in Ernakulam with all the posts which were being shifted.

Rail Coach Factory, Palakkad, announced in the Railway Budget 2008-09, was yet to be realised. “Now that the land issues have been settled and sufficient land as decided by Railway Board is in the possession of Railways, the joint venture partner may be chosen urgently and sufficient funds provided in the Railway Budget 2016-17 for the realization of the project.”

Besides, the memorandum seeks the following new trains and extension of existing services:

Proposed New Trains

    1. Nilambur – Trivandrum Rajyarani Express train be delinked and run as an independent train.

    2. New "Bharat Tirth Train" - connecting Trivandrum, Madurai and Velankanni Pilgrimage centers.

    3. An Intercity Express train from Trivandrum to Mangalore.

    4. A Tourist train from Kanyakumari to Goa, covering the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Goa.

    5. Trivandrum – Nizamuddin Rajadhani Express Train to be run daily.

    6. Kannur – Trivandrum via Kottayam Janashatabdi to be run daily.

    7. Thiruvananthapuram – Bilaspur daily train

    8. Hyderabad – Thiruvananthapuram existing train to be made daily.

    9. Thiruvananthapuram – Bengaluru new pair of trains

 

Extension of existing trains coming from outside the State

 

  1. Trains terminating at Pollachi to be extended upto Palakkad

  2. Byndoor – Kasargod passenger train to be extended up to Guruvayoor

  3. Yashwanthpur – Hassan – Kannur train to be extended up to Kozhikode

 

 

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