Airport, State collaboration suggested

The multi-modal hub mooted at Thiruvananthapuram international airport has received an impetus with the authorities exploring whether the proposed high-speed rail corridor can be kicked off from the precincts of the Rs.300 crore world class terminal.

Officials of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) that is providing consultancy to the construction of the high speed rail corridor from south to north of the State held a meeting with airport director V.N. Chandran on Thursday in this regard.

Official sources told The Hindu that the DMRC officials were looking into whether the precincts of the airport terminal complex could be used for commencing the high speed rail corridor as per the initial plan. The project officials had in between changed the plans and had preferred Kochuveli to commence the corridor.

The move comes close on the heels of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) backing the multi-modal hub mooted by Mr. Chandran and taking up the proposal with the State government. A collaborative process between the airport management and the State had been suggested for implementing the project.

The AAI had given the blue print to the State that details the potential in the airport to facilitate multi-modal transport hub, the modes of transport being air, road, rail, inland waterway, and sea.

AAI member, planning, S. Raheja had written to the Chief Secretary recently in this regard seeking an early response to the proposal.

More traffic

“The propensity of the airport to become the only airport in its category, having all five modes of transport forming a great hub, is awesome in that it will generate more traffic and may demonstrate the contemporary outlook of a modern airport,” Mr. Raheja said in his letter.

The proposal has been mooted in view of the new terminal's proximity to the Parvathi Puthanar. The new complex is located 500 metres from the Parvathi Puthanar and the government has constructed a six-lane bridge and approach road to provide connectivity.

Already, the airport has road and rail connectivity. The terminal that has come up on the city side is located 1 km from the Thiruvananthapuram-Kollam railway line.

The construction of a boat terminal near the terminal would provide access to people travelling by inland waterways. The State has been asked to take the initiative to facilitate the usage of Parvathy Puthanar and to connect it to tourist spots, take steps to clean the canal, and make Kovalam-Chaka stretch navigable.

Mr. Raheja in his letter to the Chief Secretary pointed out that the canal was now a dumping area and a threat to the aviation activities in the airport.

The close proximity of the new terminal complex to the beach resort of Kovalam can augment tourist traffic. Operating boats along the Kovalam-Chaka stretch will enable the tourists to enjoy the beauty of the backwaters.


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