Centre clear decks for preparation of DPR for 7 new Railway projects in Kerala

NEW DELHI / TIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Decks are getting cleared for the preparation of detailed project report (DPR) of the viable projects for the further development of railway corridor on a cost-sharing basis between Railways and State through Kerala Railway Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL).

International engineering and consulting groups engaged in the field of rail and urban transport alone and partnering firms in the country have come forward to prepare the DPRs for the KRDCL, a special purpose vehicle floated in January 2017 to execute viable rail projects on a 51:49 cost-sharing basis.

Hyderabad-based AARVEE Associates and INECO of Spain, Delhi Integrated Multi-mode Transit Systems (DIMTS) and Geodata of Italy, Germany’s Ramboll and PricewaterhouseCoopers and Systra of Paris are those who have responded to the expression of interest (EOI) floated by the KRDCL.

“From these four firms/tie-ups, one will be selected as general consultant to prepare the DPR for the prioritised projects. The selection will be on the basis of the technical bid that will be opened on June 30,” a top KRDCL official told.

The selected consultant will also be tasked to carry out the survey and extend technical support for the future cost-sharing railway projects. The appointment of the consultant will be after getting the nod of the KRDCL chaired by the Chief Secretary.

The response of the international firms such as INECO, Geodata, Ramboll and Systra has surprised the KRDCL authorities. Surprisingly, Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd and RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Service), involved in preparing feasibility reports for the cost-sharing projects, is not in the picture.

Seven new projects across the State estimated to cost Rs. 56,430 crore figure in the list of KRDCL. This include the 510 km third and fourth railway line from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod, 181 km railway line from Thalassery via Mananthavady to Mysuru, 12 km rail connectivity from Balaramapuram to upcoming Vizhinjam International Deepwater seaport and 125.5 km Rapid Rail Transit System from Thiruvananthapuram to Chengannur.

Development of new terminus station at Ernakulam with commercial development, 65 km Erumeli-Punalur railway line via Pathanamthitta linking the Sabari line and the Kollam-Shencottah line and 15 km Ettumanoor-Pala linking Sabari line with Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam line figure in the prioritised list.