Karnataka cold-shoulders Thalassery-Mysuru rail project

The Karnataka government has not yet responded to a proposal by the Kerala government to establish a railway line from Thalassery to Mysuru.

Sources said that the Karnataka government had not replied even to a suggestion of the Kerala government to entrust the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) with the task of carrying out a survey for the project which is under the consideration of the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-Rail). Incidentally, the Thalassery-Mysuru broad gauge line and the Nanjangud-Nilambur railway line are still under the consideration of K-Rail, a joint venture company under the State government and the Ministry of Railways.

K-Rail took up the four-year-old rail line project connecting Thalassery to Mysuru via Mananthavady in Wayanad district. The proposed rail line connects Thalassery, Panoor, Vilangad, Niravilpuzha, Tharuvana, Kalpetta, Meenangady, and Pulpaly in Kerala and H.D. Kotte, Kadakole, and Mysoru in Karnataka. “Now, the project has gone into cold storage with even the Chief Secretary unable to communicate with his counterpart in Karnataka for the past six months. The COVID-19 lockdown also added to the woes of the project getting a formal approval,” an official said.

Last year, the Ministry of Railways had asked the Kerala government not to go ahead with the survey for the project until it received the approval from the Karnataka government. The present proposal also included a lengthy tunnel under the Kabani river so as to save the wildlife tracts of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, and the Nagerhole National Park.

Rail line to Wayanad

Meanwhile, the State government has plans to undertake a new rail line project within Kerala linking Kannur to Wayanad. The modalities are being worked out to prepare a detailed project report and then task the KRCL with the survey. However, carving out a new proposal from an existing project has to get the concurrence of the Ministry of Railways. This may also face ecological issues in the State, the sources said.

The lack of train services has forced people from the State, especially from north Kerala, to rely on buses to reach Karnataka. The only rail connectivity to Bengaluru is through the Palakkad-Salem route. But this is not only time-consuming but also a saturated traffic corridor.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 11:41:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/karnataka-cold-shoulders-thalassery-mysuru-rail-project/article32736979.ece

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