Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi on December 10 for the implementation of the Nilambur- Nanjangud railway line.
The project will be executed on cost-sharing basis (50 per cent each) between the State and the Railways. The line connecting Kerala and Karnataka is expected to reduce travel time between Wayanad and Mysore to one hour and between Wayanad and Bangalore, three hours.
The project had remained in cold storage for over a decade for multiple reasons, including an unscientific survey conducted of 236 km and financial projection of Rs 4,266 crore. However, it was revived following the intervention of Principal Adviser of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) E. Sreedharan recently.
A topo alignment survey had brought down the distance between Nilambur and Nanjangud to 156 km and cost to Rs. 2,200 crore, said T.M. Rasheed, of Nilgris- Wayanad National Highway and Railway Action Committee, which is spearheading the campaign for the project.
Already the committee had held discussions with the Chief Minister in this regard. The proposed Nanjangud- Sulthan Bathery- Nilambur railway line would not touch the tri-junction of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Another survey is also being carried out by a Chennai-based firm to finalise the alignment, which will focus on the gradient as well. Subsequently, a Detailed Project Report will be prepared and a Special Purpose Vehicle will be formed.