Kerala too has joined the bandwagon, like other States, to implement development projects in the railway network by extending financial support to Indian Railways.

Minister for Finance K.M. Mani announced this on Friday while presenting the State Budget for 2013-14. Mr. Mani said a sum of Rs.5 crore had been allocated for the Coach Repair and Maintenance Centre at Kochuveli this year. The centre will help make available the coaches needed for the rakes in the State and to overcome paucity of coaches.

The Finance Minister said the development of Ernakulam town railway station was inevitable for the proposed Kochi Metro. Along with this, the government had earmarked Rs.10 crore for the development of Thrissur, Kollam, Kozhikode, and Kottayam railway stations.

Mr. Mani said the government would take steps to commence the Sabari rail project this year. The Railways have been asking the State for the last several years to share 50 per cent of the cost of the project which aims to put Sabarimala into the railway map of the country.

The Finance Minister included basic infrastructure development as part of the flagship programmes to take the State forward. Kochi Metro, High Speed Rail Corridor, Monorail projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, Kannur international airport, ICTT at Vizhinjam, National Games projects, and Mobility Hub would get Rs.788.93 crore as budget allocation this year. The government was in the process of acquiring land needed for the proposed Kochi metro, he said.

All districts in the State would get mobility hubs on the lines of the one being set up at Vytilla to expedite the basic infrastructure works. Mr. Mani said he had allocated Rs.846 crore in the budget for these projects.