Three Lok Sabha MPs have jointly written a letter to Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge to immediately order for a fresh engineering survey for laying a new railway line between Nilambur in Kerala’s Malappuram district and Karnataka’s Nanjagud in Mysore district via The Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu.

This project, when implemented, would save the rail travel distance between Kanyakumari and New Delhi by 450 km and between Thiruvananthapuram and Bangalore by 250 km, the MPs – A Raja (elected from the Nilgiris, TN), M.I. Shanavas (Wayanad, Kerala) and R. Dhruva Narayana (Chamraj Nagar, Karnataka) – said in their letter. Besides, over two crore people in the area would get benefited.

They wanted Mr. Kharge to immediately call for a meeting with the governments of TN, Kerala and Karnataka to finalise the project and also include in the ensuing railway budget so that the work could be taken up simultaneously in all the three Southern States.

The realignment of survey by a shorter route between Sulthan Bathery and Nilambur Road via Devala, Glanrock would shorten the route by 82 km and result in the saving of Rs. 2,000 crores. “This line could be made economically viable and socially desirable and concerned regions require attention of the government for their development”.

This line would reduce the traffic congestion in National Highways 212 and, 67 and three major State Highways connecting Wayanad, the Nilgiris Districts, Mysore and Bangalore. “It will protect the environment and ecology in the forest area. Wayanad and the Nilgiris are tribal dominated districts and they require special consideration for connecting them into the main stream”, the MPs said in their letter.