The Railways would work with a time frame to complete pending line-doubling works in the State, the Union Minister of State for Railways E. Ahamed said.

Announcing this here at the inauguration of the Pullepady railway overbridge on Monday, he said that doubling works of the Mavelikara-Kayamkulam, Chenganur-Mavelikara and Cheppad-Haripad stretches would be completed this financial year.

“The doubling of the Kollam-Shencottah, Mulanthuruthy-Kurupunthara, Chingavanam-Chenganur, Ambalapuzha-Haripad and Ernakulam-Kumbalam stretches would be taken up next year. Survey work is on in the Thirunavaya-Guruvayur portion. The difference of opinion over land acquisition for the Sabari Rail project would soon be ironed out at a meeting that would be convened by Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan,” he said.

Mr. Ahamed said that more facilities would soon be readied at the Kochuveli terminal in Thiruvananthapuram. The shed for mainline electrical multiple units (MEMUs) at Palakkad would be readied by August and the shed at Kollam by October. This would enable the introduction of commuter trains that move fast along high-density rail corridors.

While admitting that there was some truth in allegations of neglect towards railway development in Kerala, he said that the issue is being redressed. “A high-level committee has given in-principle clearance to the proposed railway terminal near the Nedumbassery international airport. A railway halt has been planned in the preliminary phase.”

Speaking after inaugurating the bridge, Chief Minister V. .S Achuthanandan expressed concern at the delay in commissioning railway overbridges in the State. “The Government has set apart Rs. 200 crores for building bridges in a time-bound manner. Land acquisition for the bridges would be included in the fast-track scheme,” he said. The others who spoke include the Minister for Law and Sports M Vijayakumar; the Minister for Transport Jose Thettayil; the Minister for Fisheries S. Sarma and the RBDCK's MD T. K. Jose.

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