State likely to be granted an exclusive peninsular railway zone
Kerala is likely to be granted an exclusive peninsular railway zone, but will have to be content with truncated Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad divisions, since Tirunelveli and Mangalore divisions will soon be carved out of them.
The move for setting up two new divisions on the north and south of Kerala has gathered momentum with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Nalin Kumar Kateel and Pon Radhakrishnan getting elected from the Dakshina Kannada and Nagercoil Lok Sabha constituencies respectively and D.V. Sadananda Gowda from Karnataka becoming the Union Railway Minister.
Railway sources told The Hindu that the creation of the Mangalore division figured in the meeting Mr. Gowda, who is also a former MP from Mangalore, had with General Manager of Southern Railway at Mangalore recently. Mr. Gowda is again visiting Mangalore for three days from June 5.
Around 120 route km falling under the Palakkad division up to Kannur station will be carved out to create the Mangalore division under the South Western Railway based in Hubli. A portion of Konkan Railway is to be carved out to set up the division.
With the creation of the Salem division, the route km in the Palakkad division had come down from 1,757 to 578.4. When Mangalore division is carved out, Palakkad division will have to forego another 120 route km.
Palakkad division’s revenue will dip as 95 per cent of its freight earnings come through coal movement from the Mangalore port to power plants.
A move is on to hand over 130 route km from Melapalayam near Tirunelveli to Nemom in Thiruvananthapuram to the Madurai division initially to create Tirunelveli division. Of the 794 route km under the Thiruvananthapuram division, 734 is in Kerala.