Delay in releasing funds sanctioned for Nilambur-Sulthan Bathery-Nanjangud rail line survey raises concerns

Kozhikode: Fresh concerns have been raised over the delay in releasing the sanctioned amount of Rs.8 crore to carry out a survey for the proposed Nilambur-Sulthan Bathery-Nanjangud rail line.

Previously, the State government had decided to entrust the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to conduct the final location survey for the project in May. This was after the State government inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Railways to implement the project on a cost-sharing basis.

The Nilgiris-Wayanad National Highway and Railway Action Committee which is campaigning for the project said the State government had issued an order on June 24 engaging the DMRC to take up the survey project.

Joint Venture Company

“Steps to form a joint company to implement the project and procedures for the survey are also progressing. However the funds for the survey have not been released since the last four months. The government should release the amount as soon as possible,” committee convener T.M. Rasheed said.

Mr. Rasheed said the survey could be completed within nine months. A special purpose vehicle could be formed for the implementation of the rail line only after finishing the survey and preparation of the draft of the project report.

The proposed project will be executed on cost-sharing basis between the State and the Railways. A new topographic alignment survey had also brought down the distance between Nilambur and Nanjangud to 154 km as well as the cost to Rs.2,200 crore.

Mr. Rasheed said the rail line connecting Kerala and Karnataka would reduce travel time between Wayanad and Mysore by one hour, and between Wayanad and Bangalore to three hours.

Earlier survey

An earlier survey had been carried out for 236 km and the project cost was pegged at of Rs.4266 crore. However, the unscientific survey had been re-examined and thoroughly revived following the intervention of DMRC Principal Advisor E. Sreedharan. Mr. Rasheed said people with vested interests had been trying to scuttle the rail line project.

Land acquisition for rail work to be expedited

The government will expedite land acquisition for the doubling of railway track and construction of railway overbridge (ROB) and underpasses in the districts of Alappuzha and Kottayam.

A directive to this effect was given to officials by Minister for Public Works G. Sudhakaran, who is also in charge of Railways, at a high-level meeting convened by him here on Monday.

The Minister said compensation would also be provided to landowners who surrender the land for the doubling works.

Minister for Revenue E. Chandrasekharan, Thomas Chandy, MLA., grama panchayat presidents of Thakazhi and Karuvatta, Additional Chief Secretary, Public Works, Secretary, Transport, CAO, Southern Railway, Chief Engineer, and District Collectors of Alappuzha and Kottayam were among those who attended the meeting.

CRS inspects the newly laid second Railway line between Villupuram-Tiruvennainallur

Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) Sudharsan Nayak on Wednesday inspected the newly laid second railway line between Villupuram and Tiruvennainallur falling under the Tiruchi Railway Division’s jurisdiction.

The second line has been laid as part of the Villupuram – Dindigul doubling project being executed by the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL).

Accompanied by top RVNL and Tiruchi Railway Division officials Mr. Nayak commenced the inspection from Villupuram on a motor trolley.

Mr. Nayak, who is the Commissioner of Railway Safety, South Eastern Circle, Kolkata, is looking after Southern Circle, Bengaluru. Railway sources said the detailed inspection on motor trolley in the 16-km stretch lasted over four hours.

Thereafter, the Commissioner of Railway Safety conducted a high speed trial run between Tiruvennainallur and Villupuram travelling on board a special train in the evening.

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