Kerala Goes Ahead with Thalassery-Mysuru Railway Line via Kodagu

MYSORE: Despite severe opposition from residents of Kodagu and Mysuru, elected representatives and environmentalists, the Government of Kerala is getting ready to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the Thalassery-Mysuru Railway line that will pass through lush green forests in South Kodagu.

The line is among the ‘prioritised’ projects of Kerala. Certain reputed firms, including a couple of them from foreign countries, have expressed keen interest in preparing the DPR for the Kerala Government and their bids will be opened on June 30 (tomorrow). The railway line from Thalassery via Manandavadi, Kutta, Kanoor, Balele, Thithimathi and Anechowkur  to Mysuru has a length of 181 kms and the estimated project cost is Rs. 5000.03 crore.

It is reliably understood that Kerala has ordered the preparation of DPR of viable projects (including the controversial Thalassery-Mysuru line) for the further development of railway corridor on a cost-sharing basis between Railways and Kerala through Kerala Railway Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL).

The report states that international engineering and consulting groups engaged in the field of rail and urban transport and their partnering firms in the country have come forward to prepare the DPR.

Among the companies that have expressed interest after the KRDCL floated Expression of Interest (EOI) are Hyderabad-based R.V. 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. All these firms are world leaders in implementing urban high-speed rail projects.

Interestingly, 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. It may be recalled here that officials from Konkan Railway Corporation had conducted a clandestine survey of forest and estate lands in South Kodagu recently that drew stiff opposition from the local residents.

According to KRDCL officials, among the companies, 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 in Thiruvananthapuram.

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 Kerala Chief Secretary.