Puts forth needs to secure allocation in the 2014-15 budget
The government has listed out projects announced in the rail budgets for the State since 2004-2005 that had not been implemented yet and prioritised needs to secure maximum allocation in the 2014-15 railway budget.
It is for the first time that the government has drawn up an exhaustive list of the pending projects and ways to realise them, official sources told The Hindu.
The government, which was at the receiving end last year for not doing the spadework in getting its due share in the budget, has come up with an official memorandum in November itself, including the views and demands of Union Ministers and MPs.
Funds are often unavailable to complete the works approved by the railway board, especially in the case of doubling, gauge conversion, and new line works and allied land acquisition, the memorandum says.
It also calls for steps to prevent diversion of funds sanctioned for the State and release of funds to complete the projects in a time bound manner and avoid cost overrun.
The rail coach factory at Palakkad tops the priority list. The State calls on the Railways to identify a joint venture partner at the earliest and make the necessary allocation in the budget to commence the work in the coming financial year.
Regarding the wagon manufacturing factory at Alappuzha, the State seeks an assurance from the Railways and communication by the railway board along with sufficient provision in the budget.
The demand for a peninsular railway zone again finds place on the list. Priority is sought for the proposed coaching depots at Nemom and Kottayam and a coach repair and maintenance centre at Kochuveli.
The railway medical college and the OPD and diagnostic centre announced in the 2009-10 budget, more personnel at the MEMU shed in Kollam, sufficient rakes for MEMU services, and the doubling work between Ernakulam and Kayamkulam via Kottayam and Alappuzha figure on the list.
Allocation is sought for the high speed rail corridor, drinking water bottling plant, and for suburban services from Thiruvananthapuram to Chengannur and Harippad.
The State also seeks more budget allocation for rail connectivity to the Kannur airport; Nilambur- Nanjangud, Guruvayur- Thirunavaya, Kochi- Madurai and Angamaly- Sabari railway lines; railway over bridges; and upgrade of Thiruvananthapuram Central, Ernakulam Junction and Kozhikode stations into world class railway stations.
Demands for trains
Demands for new mail and express trains, extension of trains, passenger amenities, multi-functional complexes, manning of unmanned level crossings, automatic signalling system and more ladies coaches have been put forward.