Kottayam-Erumeli rail line: dharna today

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: A dharna will be organised on the premises of the Angamaly railway station on December 7 to demand the construction of a new railway line from Kottayam to Pampa and Erumeli. The agitation is being organised by the Ernakulam district Karshaka Raksha Samithy.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, samithy representatives T.R.S. Namboodiripad, Jose Chacko and K.N. Anil Kumar said the Railways conducted three surveys for the line that was planned to touch Kalady, Malayattoor, Kodanand, Poru, Thattekkad, Bhoothatahnkettu and Sabarimala. The line was to be connected to Kottayam and then to be extended to Punalur. But this proposal was reportedly abandoned and instead, a line between Angamaly and Azhutha, 19 km. away from Pampa, was being planned, they said.

The samithy representatives said the length of the proposed railway line between Kottayam and Erumeli was 43 km, while the Angamaly-Azhutha line would be 145 km.

Pamba could be reached now from Angamaly by road, covering a distance of 130 km. Hence, the proposed railway line would not be of help to Sabarimala pilgrims, especially as the line would reach only up to Azhutha.

The expenditure on the proposed line would be about Rs.3,000 crore while the income would be limited. Hence the authorities should consider a line that would be more worthwhile, they said.