Cochin: Though viewed as a perfect example of transport integration, the Railway station project at Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) at Nedumbassery remains non-starter. The project was formulated years ago and the foundation stone for the halt station at Nedumbassery was laid by then MOSR E.Ahmed in December 2010. According to sources, the project will remain non-starter for a long time from now. David Pynadath, president, Karukutty Railway Users Association, said it is unlikely that the project will start in the near future. “Apart from laying the foundation stone for the half station, the project has not move an inch forward even after three years. It is learnt that the unavailability of fund is the major reason behind the continuous delay. As the general election are nearing, the probability of getting the funds for the project is bleak. The then minister E Ahmed took a special interest to start the project but then after nothing happened.
If realised, the halt station in Nedumbassery would provide easy access for the passengers from many areas in the state to the airport,” he added.
According to the proposed project, the halt station with a built-up area of 1000 sq m would have two platforms and 24 coaches could be stationed there. The cost for the construction was estimated to be `93 lakh then. There would be a ticket booking centre and a second-class waiting hall. The new station was aimed to provide a convenient rail link to the airport. According to CIAL officials, nothing has been done by the Railways to carry forward the project. “Though the foundation stone was laid three years ago the project remains at the starting point. We have not received any communication from railways regarding the commencement of the project,” they said. Experts say that the station may provide an easy way in for outbound cargo consignments even from far away places to the airport. It will also provide a boost for the the concept of incorporating a multi-modal transport system linking air, land and waterways, they said. According to railway officials, shortage of funds is the major problem to go ahead with the project.