The State Archaeological Department has started the process to protect the remains of the erstwhile Cochin Forest Tramway, a metre-gauge rail through the dense forests from Annappada near Chalakudy to Parambikulam near Chalakudy, which is in a state of ruin. The officials examined information, documents and documentary related to the tramway at a meeting held at the PWD rest house at Chalakudy on Saturday.
They visited the tramway regional workshop, where the remains of the tramway were kept.
The work of the Cochin State Tramway that was started under the direction of then Kochi King Ramavarama Raja in 1901 was completed by 1905. The tramway, constructed using British and German technology, was a remarkable achievement. Though it was launched for bringing logs from Parambikkulam forest, it was a major mode of transport to the forest region. It was de-commissioned in 1963. Now only five per cent of the remains of the tramway is available in Kerala.
The state archaeological department is trying to prepare a report to get the approval of the Centre and State governments to open a heritage museum for preserving the remains of the tramway. A high-level discussion of ministers, department heads, and experts from Culture, Irrigation, Tourism and Forest departments will be held in February.
B.D. Devassy, MLA; Municipal Chairman V.O. Pylappan; Archaeology Director Rejikumar; engineer V.S. Satheesh; DFO Anjan Kumar; and others participated in the discussion.
The work on the Cochin State Tramway was started in 1901 and completed by 1905.