A clear message to the State to equally share the cost of the sanctioned projects as done by the other States
Thiruvananthapuram (TVC): Twelve of the 32 completed surveys for new lines sanctioned for the State over the years in the railway budgets have been shelved by the Railway Board. The decision of the Railway Board to shelve these completed surveys had been communicated to the State government, official sources said. But, the reason to abandon the completed surveys had not been intimated.
The majority of the surveys had been announced on the basis of political considerations and on the basis of the memorandum given by the State and the MPs.
A Southern Railway official said it was not surprising as it was part of an effort to prioritise projects and expedite the last-mile projects.
“It is part of the turnaround and consolidation being carried out after the change of guard in Railways. Resource allocation is for national priority projects,” he said.
The board’s decision is also a clear message to the State to equally share the cost of the sanctioned projects as done by the other States in view of the resource crunch faced by Railways.
Ambitious projects, like the one to put Sabarimala on the rail map, are dragging on due to lack of fund allocation by Railways. The Anagamly-Sabari rail has been given just Rs.5 crore in the 2015-16 budget. The Guruvayur-Thirunavaya rail line has been given just Rs.1 crore.
The rest of the completed surveys include Angamaly-Sabari, Nilambur-Nanjencode, Guruvayur-Thirunavaya, Edapally-Guruvayur, Angadipuram-Kozhikode, Kanhangad-Panathur, Madurai-Kottayam, Chengannur- Adoor- Kottarakkara, Panathur- Kaniyoor, Kaniyoor-Kuttikkulam, Kozhikode-Beypore, Ernakulam- Shoranur, Podannur- Palakkad third line, Balaramapuram-Vizhinjam to link the proposed ICTT at seaport, Angadipuram- Ottapalam, Chengannur- Thiruvananthapuram, Sabarimala- Chengannur, Sabarimala-Punalur- Thiruvananthapuram, and Shornur-Mangalore third line.
The decision of the Railway Board to abandon the projects may lead to public protest as commuters are aggrieved over the neglect of Railways in sanctioning trains, rakes, and funds for development projects in the State.