PALAKKAD: The Nilgiris-Wayanad National Highway and Railway Action Committee is preparing to launch an indefinite agitation against the alleged apathy of the State government in actualising the proposed Nilambur-Sultan Bathery-Nanjangud railway line.
Addressing a press conference at Kalpetta near Payyoli Railway Station (Kozhikode District) on the Palakkad Division of Southern Railway on Friday, T.M. Rasheed, the convener of the organisation, said the proposed railway line was considered important for the comprehensive development of the State as it would bring down travel time between Kochi and Bengaluru to seven hours.
The Union Budget had identified as many as 30 railway projects for 50% cost-sharing with a total allocation of Rs. 58,274 crore.
The proposed railway line was the only joint venture project from the State, Mr. Rasheed said.
The Karnataka Chief Minister had promised delegates from Kerala that his government would take the initiative to implement the project.
The Kerala government had allocated a sum of Rs.8 crore for the purpose, besides agreeing to pay Rs.2 crore in advance to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the executing agency of the project.
But when the DMRC began work by opening two offices in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, a lobby in the government, which was hostile to the project, tried to sabotage it by influencing the government, added Mr. Rasheed.
The DMRC later closed its offices and was forced to withdraw from the project after the government failed to provide the amount, he said.
The organisation would stage a protest meet and hold a symbolic human railway protest in front of the Collectorate here on Monday against the alleged negative stance of the government. M.P. Veerendrakumar, MP, will inaugurate the programme at 10.30 a.m. on the day.