The Ernakulam-Lokmanya Tilak bi-weekly air-conditioned Duronto Express was flagged off from here on Friday morning by the Union Minister of State for Railways E. Ahmed.

The travel time is around 21 hours. Speaking on the occasion, he called upon the State Government to expedite land acquisition for the long-pending rail-doubling works in the State. “Kerala seems to be neglecting much-needed railway development works. Faced with local and labour problems, many

contractors engaged in doubling the rails are forced to approach the High Court.”

Jansatabdhi Express

He said that the Thiruvananthapuram-Kozhikode Jansatabdhi Express (through Kottayam) would begin plying by month end. The Kayamkulam-Mavelikkara line would be doubled by March 31. Land acquisition has to be hastened in the Guruvayur-Tirunavaya line and the District Collector has been asked to submit a viable package to compensate the land owners.