Railways and the State have begun joint field inspection of the 15.10 hectares of land to be acquired for the Nemom coaching terminal and for the doubling of the railway line from Thiruvananthapuram Central to Nemom.
Along with Railways personnel, the staff of the Revenue Department are engaged in the field inspection of the land to be acquired along the seven-km corridor from Thiruvananthapuram Central. The 15.10 hectares includes the land for the proposed yard at the upcoming Nemom coaching terminal.
The inspection will help Railways and the State to get a clear picture of the boundary of the land to be acquired, a top official of the construction wing of Railways told The Hindu . Only after completing the field inspection and after getting the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study report can the District Collector can begin the land acquisition.
Railways are also putting pressure on the State to make available the land for expediting the work on the coaching terminal and to kick off the doubling of the Thiruvananthapuram Central-Nemom stretch as part of doubling of the 86.56-km line from the Central station to Kanyakumari.
The preliminary work on the Phase I of the coaching terminal that began in February this year is on despite the delay in acquiring the land for the coaching terminal and doubling. The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Construction, Ernakulam, had awarded the ₹15-crore work for two platforms, each 600-m-long, and railway track, each 750-m-long.
Railways’ plan is to utilise their 12.14 hectares at Nemom, without waiting for the remaining land to be acquired by the State for the project, to avoid delays and cost escalation. Railways need land parallel to 2.5 km of the existing track for the new facilities.
Meanwhile, Railways had also not been able to incorporate the changes sought by the Railway Board in the plan for the ₹118.53-crore Nemom terminal. The change mooted by the board, as suggested by the Thiruvananthapuram Railway division, is the construction of a pit line by reducing the number of stabling lines from the proposed five to four.
Cost may shoot up
Although Railways need not acquire additional land for the pit line, the change may shoot up the estimated cost by at least ₹14 crore. The pit line and four stabling lines will be part of the Phase I work of the coaching terminal along with two additional platform lines, and a shunting neck.
He said the changes had not yet got the final approval of the board.