Survey for proposed Nanjangud-Nilambur rail project over

The updating survey for the proposed Nanjangud-Wayanad-Nilambur rail line project has been completed and the cost of 236-km line is estimated at Rs 4,266 crore. The survey for the line, which would connect three states, was proposed in the last Railway Budget.

The line would cater to the needs of over two crores of people residing in the districts of Wayanad, the Nilgiris, Mysore, Chamrajanagar, Coorg, Kannur, Kozhikode and Malappuram. It is also said to ease the cargo movement between Bangalore and Kochi. The updating of survey on laying of new rail line on the 236-km route was completed and the report was sent for Planning Commission’s approval, said T M Rasheed, convener, the Nilgiris-Wayanad National Highway and Railway Action Committee (NWNHRAC).

According to a letter obtained by the NWNHRAC from the office of the chief administrative officer (Construction), Southern Railway, the 236-km line would cost Rs 4266.88 crore. It includes the cost of laying 72-km railway line between Nanjangud and Sulthan Bathery, which is estimated at Rs 764 crore.

The project, which had received the nod from the Finance wing of Railways long back, was lying in cold storage as it was found to be non-remunerative as per the preliminary survey. The proposed new line would take off from Nilambur in Malappuram district and pass through Cheeral and Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad district, Ayyankolli in Tamil Nadu and Hura in Karnataka.

The project is likely to be taken up on a cost-sharing basis between the Union and State governments. Sources said the state government would have to provide the land. According to the office-bearers, if the project becomes a reality, travel time from Sulthan Bathery to Mysore would be just one hour and it would take only 3.5 hours to reach Bangalore.