The government has decided to go ahead with preparation of detailed project report for the High Speed Rail Corridor connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod trains speeding more than 200 kilometres an hour.
Though there were apprehensions about the feasibility of the project, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, which conducted the feasibility study, has given a positive report.
The all party meeting, convened by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here on Monday, agreed with the government, in principle, on going ahead with the project and preparation of the detailed project report. The meeting was told that a loan could be raised from Japan International Cooperation Agency for the project. The loan would carry an interest of 1.5 per cent (payable in Yen).
The Opposition sought details of the feasibility report and the Chief Minister agreed to make an executive summary available within ten days. Opposition Leader V. S. Achuthanandan, who was among leaders of various political parties who attended the meeting, queried the government about the interest rate on the loan.
The project is to take off by April next year and fully commissioned by March 2020. Each train running along the route will have eight coaches (six motorised coaches and two trailers attached to the motorised coaches at both ends). They could carry 817 passengers per trip. The total cost of the project will be about 1,18,000 crore on completion, Chairman and Managing Director of Kerala High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd T. Balakrishnan said.