Stone laid for pilgrim complex at Chengannur railway station

PILGRIM-FRIENDLY MOVE: Union Minister of State for Railways E. Ahamed laying the foundation stone for a pilgrim's complex at the Chengannur railway station on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Special Arrangement

Staff Reporter

‘Land acquisition for rail development responsibility of State'

ALAPPUZHA: Scarcity of land is hampering several development projects of the Railways in the State, Union Minister of State for Railways E. Ahamed has said.

Speaking after laying the foundation stone for a pilgrim complex for Sabarimala pilgrims at the Chengannur Railway Station here on Wednesday, Mr. Ahmed said doubling works on the Kayamkulam-Ernakulam route were stalled because of issues that cropped up during land acquisition.

The responsibility of making land available was with the State government, and the Railways would complete the work as and when land was available, he said. The same was the case with the Road Over Bridges (ROB). Though Railways was ready to construct the ROBs, work was in limbo due to non-availability of land.

The public would have to cooperate with the government for this, he said, adding that time was a crucial factor since the funds would lapse if works were not completed in the stipulated timeframe.

Pilgrim complex

A total of Rs.95 lakh will be spent for the construction of the pilgrim complex, while Rs.2.25 crore will be spent for development of basic infrastructure at the Chengannur station, which is an A-category station with Rs.8.5 crore annual revenue.

A Rs.90 lakh project will be launched shortly to construct various facilities, including a foot-over-bridge and an escalator.

The basic infrastructure that will be set up at the station will include ticket booking counters and development of the platforms.

Kodikunnil Suresh, MP, presided over the function. P.J. Kurian, MP; P.C. Vishnunath, MLA; and Chengannur Municipal chairman Rajan Kannattu also spoke.