Kerala moves Railway Board for Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Semi-HSR nod

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Expediting steps to kick off the ₹56,443-crore semi-high speed rail (SHSR) corridor from Kochuveli to Kasaragod, Kerala has submitted the feasibility report and alignment to the Railway Board seeking approval for the cost-sharing ambitious project.

The feasibility report, prepared by the Paris-based engineering and consulting group Systra and alignment for the 532 km corridor, was submitted to the board by V. Ajith Kumar, Managing Director, Kerala Railway Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL).

The KRDCL is the joint venture company set up to execute ‘viable’ rail infrastructure projects between the State and Railways.

The Cabinet had approved the feasibility report and alignment earlier this month.

The KRDCL MD also held discussions with the top officials of the board in Delhi on the project seeking the in-principle approval to move ahead and roll out of the project.

“We are expecting the nod from board within one month,” Mr. Ajith Kumar told.

Only after getting the in-principle approval from the board, the government can move ahead with the steps to acquire 1,226.45 hectares of land needed from Kochuveli to Kasaragod for laying the third and fourth lines and for building the new 10 stations.

As per the road map, KRDCL proposes to raise ₹34,454 crore as loans for the project that is aimed at reducing travel time and congestion on the roads.

The Centre and the State will have to provide ₹7,720 crore each. The State government will spend ₹8,656 crore on land acquisition and allied matters.

The KRDCL has commenced steps for the preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) by December.

The field survey has already been awarded to the Hyderabad-based M/s GeoKno and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), a remote sensing survey method for examining the terrain using aircraft, is to be used. Currently GeoKno is carrying out the work of establishing the Ground Control Points for conducting the Aerial LiDAR Survey.

Mr. Ajith Kumar said the work for sub-soil investigation of the proposed corridor and fresh traffic and transportation survey had been awarded.

M/s Anand Raj Infratch Pvt Ltd of Patna had bagged the work for carrying out the soil investigation.

The traffic and transportation survey had been entrusted to the Pilani-based M/s P. K. Engineers.