In a major development, the State Cabinet has given the nod for setting up Kerala Monorail Corporation Limited, a fully owned company under the government, to implement the monorail projects in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram.
The Cabinet, in an equally significant move, has taken the monorail projects out of the control of the Transport Department and handed it over to the Public Works Department. Thus, Kerala Monorail Corporation Limited, a special purpose vehicle (SPV), will implement the two monorail projects under the overall control of the Public Works Department.
The new Corporation’s first project will be the 14.5-km elevated rail-based mass rapid transit system (MRTS) from Kozhikode Medical College to Meenchantha in the city. The next in line will be the 41.8-km monorail project from Mangalapuram to Neyyattinkara in Thiruvananthapuram.
The setting up of the company has cleared the ground for commencing the monorail project in Kozhikode as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has already submitted the detailed project report (DPR) for the Rs.1,991-crore project. The monorail project in the capital has been proposed for the Mangalapuram-Ulloor–Overbridge-Killippalam-Neyyattinkara corridor.
The National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (Natpac) has already submitted the feasibility report for the Thiruvananthapuram project.
The DMRC, which has been asked to submit the DPR, is yet to give it to the government. The SPV to be headed by the Chief Minister will take up the monorail project in the capital once the DPR is submitted by the DMRC, sources said.
The first 22.2-km phase from Mangalapuram to Thampanoor is expected to cost Rs.2,775 crore and the second phase of 19.6 km from Thampanoor to Neyyattinkara Rs.2,324 crore. The monorail, an ambitious project and first of its kind venture in the State after the Kochi Metro Rail, is expected to avoid dependence on personalised modes of transport and take away 40 per cent of road traffic.
While in Kochi last month to attend the Emerging Kerala summit, Union Minister for Urban Affairs Kamal Nath had promised financial assistance for the monorail projects.