Kerala

Rail tunnel for Vizhinjam port connectivity

A 10.7-km railway line, including a 9.02-km tunnel, has been proposed to connect the upcoming Vizhinjam International Multipurpose Deepwater Seaport to the railway network.

The 9.02-km tunnel, mooted by Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd (KRCL) from near the Balaramapuram station on the Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthapuram railway line, will be the second longest railway tunnel of the country on completion.

The KRCL, in its draft Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted to Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL) — a special purpose company supervising the execution of the seaport project — has favoured the railway tunnel from Balaramapuram in view of the 35-metre level difference between the port and the highest ground level, undulating terrain, and local population.

The proposed railway line from Balaramapuram to Vizhinjam will be a single line and will be sufficient for the movement of 9 to 10 rakes daily through the corridor for the next 20 years, according to KRCL.

As much as 6.57 hectares will have to be acquired on the Balaramapuram-Vizhinjam stretch for laying the line.

The cost of providing the rail connectivity, including land acquisition, has been put at ₹1,069 crore.

The government has decided to set up a high-level committee to look into the DPR submitted by the KRCL, official sources told The Hindu on Thursday. Fine-tuning of the alignment will be taken up after the evaluation.

By May 2022

The KRCL, experts in constructing tunnels, was roped in after Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) under the Union Ministry of Railways backed out from the seaport connectivity project. The plan is to establish the railway link by May 2022.

The development of the Balaramapuram railway station is being explored as part of the rail link to the seaport. A committee comprising officials of the Department of Ports, VISL, and Railways is working on the procedures.


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 7:06:56 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rail-tunnel-for-vizhinjam-port-connectivity/article26207582.ece