Kerala CM to present State’s Wish List of Rail Development projects to CRB today

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will present the State’s wish list of projects for the development of the rail network to Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani here on Friday.

The immediate needs of the network under the Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad railway divisions will also be taken up by the Chief Minister at the meeting at the Secretariat at 12 noon.

Mr. Lohani is reaching the State capital for a two-day visit at an invitation of the Chief Minister.

Prioritised projects

The prioritised projects to be taken up by Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), the joint venture between the State and Railways for executing rail projects on 51:49 cost-sharing basis, will mainly figure at the meeting.

The State may demand a Shatabdi train for speedy travel of inter-city commuters and steps to speed up projects such as doubling via Kottayam that had been dragging on for years. Mr. Lohani is making his maiden visit here after taking over as Chairman.

Railways’ willingness will be sought for the Rapid Rail Transit System on the 125.65-km Thiruvananthapuram Central- Chengannur corridor and the Thalassery-Mysuru line that figure as the first and second prioritised projects by the KRDCL, sources told.

Other demands

The rail coach factory at Kanjikode, a third and fourth rail line along the 574-km Thiruvananathapuram Central-Kasaragod corridor, Cochin Airport Link rail, renovation of the old Kochi railway station, and the Thalassery- Kannur airport- Mysuru rail link figure on the list.

Rail connectivity to the upcoming Vizhinjam seaport, Erumeli- Punalur route, Ettumanur- Pala- Sabari link route, Nilambur- Nanjangud route, and the Kanhangad-Panathur line figure on the list.

The Chief Minister is expected to take up the sanctioned projects such as Angamaly-Sabari rail line, Guruvayur-Thirunavaya line, and the development of railway stations at the meeting.

Chief Secretary K.M. Abraham, General Manager of Southern Railway Sudhanshu Mani, divisional railway managers of Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad Prakash Bhutani and Naresh Lalwani, and top officials of the State, Railways, and the KRDCL will attend.