Kerala

Chief Minister’s nod for new railway alignment

Semi-high-speed line will be away from existing railway line

The 531.45-km semi-high-speed railway line from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod will be away from the existing railway line in the 300-km Kochuveli-Shoranur section and parallel to the existing line from Thirunavaya to Kasaragod with railway bypasses at Vadakara and Thalaserry.

A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the Secretariat here on Wednesday decided to go ahead with the alignment for the third and fourth railway lines mooted in the feasibility report by the Paris-based engineering and consulting group Systra.

The Chief Minister directed the Administrative Department and Kerala Railway Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), the special purpose vehicle set up to execute ‘viable’ projects on a cost-sharing basis between the State and Railways, to seek the approval of the Cabinet, official sources told The Hindu.

The pros and cons of laying the initial 300 km from Kochuveli to Thrissur, 80% parallel to the existing railway track, as suggested by the Minister for Public Works and Railways was discussed before arriving at the decision.

Straightening the curves in the corridor was pointed out as the main hurdle to the project.

1,200 hectares

The alignment proposed by Systra is through thinly populated areas to lessen displacement of people and only 1,200 hectares would have to be acquired. Near cities, elevated lines have been mooted.

The third and fourth railway lines will traverse through 11 districts, except Alappuzha, Idukki and Wayanad, as per the alignment mooted by Systra, the general consultant of the KRDCL.

Systra has found the ₹56,443-crore third and fourth railway line and dedicated railway lines to the Thiruvananthapuram and Cochin international airports with railway stations for inter-modal transport financially feasible.

Semi-high-speed trains will move at 130-180 km an hour to cover the north-south rail corridor in four hours.

Railway stations have been proposed at Kochuveli, Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod.

Already, the KRDCL has issued work orders for carrying out the field survey by LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), a remote sensing survey method used to know terrain using aircraft, to GeoKno India Pvt. Ltd. of Hyderabad.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 10:19:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/chief-ministers-nod-for-new-railway-alignment/article28364300.ece

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