Staff Reporter

Thiruvananthapuram: The Railways have sought the cooperation and assistance of the government in completing the doubling of the rail line between Ernakulam and Kayamkulam, via Kottayam; gauge conversion of the Kollam-Punalur stretch and speeding up the land acquisition for the Guruvayur-Tanur and Angamali-Sabarimala lines.

A team led by Chief Administrative Officer (Construction), Southern Railway, R. Ramnathan, took up the difficulties being faced by the Railways in completing the sanctioned projects in the State with Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan.

The meeting held here on Wednesday was attended by the State’s Minister for Railway M. Vijayakumar and top government officials.

All the key issues that were affecting the progress of work and which needed the assistance of the government were discussed at the meeting.

The Railway officials told the meeting about the urgent need for completing the doubling of the line between Ernakulam and Kayamkulam via Kottayam.

The current line capacity utilisation exceeded 100 per cent and doubling of the stretch was the only solution.

The work involved acquisition of land in five out of the seven block sections, which the government was yet to do.

The meeting was told that gauge conversion work on the Kollam-Punalur section had also been affected as the work had been stopped by the Kollam Municipal Corporation and by some locals.