The long-standing demand for laying the Kanhangad-Kaniyoor rail line that would provide easy access from north Kerala to Bangalore got a major boost with Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda promising to accord top priority to the project.

The assurance came during a meeting he had with the office-bearers of the newly-formed Kanhangad-Kaniyoor rail line action committee in Mangalore on Sunday, ahead of the Railway budget to be presented on July 8.

“Mr. Gowda had evinced keen interest in the project and assured us that he will take up the matter,” K. Sreekantha, Bharatiya Janata Party district general secretary and the committee general convener told The Hindu here after the members presented a memorandum to the Minister at the Mangalore airport. It urged the Minister to provide budgetary allocation for commencing the works for the proposed 40-km-long Kanhangad-Panathur rail line, for which both the traffic and feasibility surveys had been successfully completed.

‘Commence survey’

It also urged the Minister to commence the survey of the remaining 31-km Panathur-Kaniyoor stretch in Karnataka to link the Mangalore–Bangalore rail line via Hassan and Mysore as the new rail line would bring in all-round development of the economically and socially backward north Kerala region, and to Karnataka.

“The Minister was quite positive to our plea and we expect a favourable decision on the project in the upcoming budget,” T. Mohammed Aslam, an office-bearer of the committee said.