Controversy over Kaniyoor rail link

: The District Congress Committee (DCC) has flayed the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [(CPI(M))] for its “insulting” comments about a Congress leader, “who had tried to clear the confusion over the proposed Kanhangad-Panathur-Kaniyoor rail line.” The DCC alleged that the CPI(M)’s stand reflected its lethargic attitude towards development projects in the region.

The DCC said that the idea of laying a rail line on the 71-km Kaniyoor rail link from Kanhangad was conceived and followed up by Hill Highway Development Committee leader Joseph Kanakamoota along with the Kanhangad Railway Passengers Association and the Northeastern Railway Passengers Association.

The CPI(M) district committee’s contention that the project was the brainchild of the party and P. Karunakaran, MP, was “astonishing and baffling,” DCC general secretaries A. Govindan Nair and P. K. Chandrasekharan said in a statement here on Thursday.

The DCC response comes a day after CPI(M) district secretary K.P. Satheesh Chandran had condemned the “unilateral” initiative by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee executive member M.C. Jose who, along with All India Congress Committee spokesman P.C. Chacko, MP, had met Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in New Delhi on Sunday to “clear the ambiguity over the Railway Budget announcement that the survey would begin from Kottikulam instead of Kanhangad as had been decided earlier.”

Fresh survey

The budget announcement necessitating fresh survey from Kottikulam, 14 km north of Kanhangad, had come when the first phase works of the proposed 41-km Kanhangad-Panathur rail line were set to begin.

The Congress leader’s endeavour was to ensure that the project — which would reduce the Kanhangad-Bangalore travel time to six hours, from the present 15 hours — did not get held up because of the fresh survey, the statement said.

There was no intention to belittle the efforts made by Mr. Karunakaran as MP of Kasaragod, the statement said.

  • ‘Jose was trying to clear confusion over issue’

  • CPI(M) had called KPCC member’s initiative unilateral