DPR for rail corridor submitted to govt.

The Detailed Project Report (DPR) and the alignment for the 530.6-km semi-high-speed rail corridor from Kochuveli to Kasaragod was submitted to the government on Thursday for approval.

The cost of the ambitious project, Silverline, has come down from the ₹66,079 crore in the feasibility report to ₹63,941 crore in the DPR prepared by Paris-based Systra. The Board of Directors of the Kerala Rail Development Corporation (K-Rail) that met on Wednesday under Chief Secretary Tom Jose approved it.

Approval needed

The DPR and the alignment were likely to come up before the Cabinet this month itself so that it could be forwarded to Railways, official sources told The Hindu .

The approval of the NITI-Aayog and the Union Cabinet was needed as the project is to be taken up as a joint venture between the State and Railways. The new lines between Kochuveli and Tirur will be a greenfield corridor and the remaining between Tirur and Kasaragod will be parallel to the existing lines. Trains will run at 200 km per hour and Ernakulam can be reached in one-and-a-half hours and Kasaragod in four hours from the State capital. The alignment prepared is same as in the feasibility report except for minor modifications of plus or minus 10 to 50 m to avoid religious/heritage structures. The line with Standard Gauge 1,435 mm is expected to be completed by 2025 if work starts this year.

Funding cost

While 52% of the cost will be raised as loan, the remaining expenditure will be met by the Centre, State and by financial institutions. The FIRR is estimated to be 8.49% over 50 years. The line, with 10 stations, including the Cochin airport, is expected to have a ridership of 79,934 persons daily in 2025-26, according to V. Ajith Kumar, Managing Director, K-Rail.

Via 11 districts

EMU type trains of nine cars, with business and standard class seats, with a seating capacity of 675 are to be operated on the line. Seen as a game-changer in Kerala’s infrastructure and economic development, SHSR is to be implemented with minimum land acquisition for laying the tracks that will cut through 11 districts.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2022 12:48:55 am |