Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Railways will be able to commence development projects only if the Kerala Government acquires and hands over land, Union Minister of State for Railways E. Ahamed has said.

He was talking to reporters before flagging off the tri-weekly day express here on Thursday that would run between Kochuveli and Mangalore.

Mr. Ahamed expressed the hope that the State Government would provide land in three months for the proposed coach factory in Palakkad. People should cooperate with the State Government in acquiring land for projects, he said. “The factory is the need of the hour as we are facing shortage of coaches,” he added. “The setting up of the factory will be of immense help to the Railways as there are only two such units in the country,” he said.

A sum of Rs. 113 crore had been allocated for the State. This is in addition to the Rs. 90 crore provided earlier and the funds provided for development of Kochuveli, Nemom and Thiruvananthapuram stations. “The tri-weekly will be made a daily once infrastructure is in place. The Central station cannot receive any more trains,” he said. “The KSRTC will commence bus services from the city to the Kochuveli terminal. The request for more halts in Alappuzha cannot be considered as the train will not reach Mangalore as per schedule,” he said.