Union Budget 2016-17 to benefit Railway sector in Kerala

TIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Union railway ministry this time has focused on improving much-needed infrastructure by allotting Rs 368 crore for doubling works in as many as 12 sections. The focus was on completion of the 115-km long Ernakulam-Kottayam-Kayamkulam section, crucial for introducing new trains and cutting down on the running time. While Rs 100 crore was earmarked for Kuruppanthara-Chingavanam (26.54 km) section, the 24 km Mulanthuruthy-Kuruppanthara sector got Rs 17.24 crore.

“Doubling is over on 89-kms of the Kottayam line, but land acquisition issues in the eight-km Kuruppanthara-Ettumanur have delayed completion of the work. The funds have been rightly released for this section. Now the target for completion of Kuruppanthara-Ettumanur is March 2018. The Changanassery-Thiruvalla (7.8 km) section will be opened by this month end while the Chingavanam-Changanassery (11 km) section too will be ready within another three months,” a senior railway administrative officer said.

Meanwhile, the railways which wanted the doubling of the coastal line to be taken up with the state sharing the cost, has set aside Rs 1.09 crore for Cheppad-Kayamkulam section (7.76 km), Rs 53 lakh for Cheppad-Haripad (5.28 km), Rs 33.44 crore for Ambalapuzha-Harippad (18.13 km), Rs 30 crore for Ernakulam-Kumbalam (7.71 km), Rs 65 crore for Kumbalam-Turavur (15.59 km) and Rs 30 crore for Turavur-Ambalapuzha (50 km) sections. The budget also set aside a sum of Rs 50 crore for initiating doubling of the 85-km Trivandrum-Kanyakumari section, Rs 41.48 crore for Quilon-Tirunelveli gauge conversion, Rs 113.59 crore for Angamaly-Sabari (116 km) and Rs 18 crore for Thirunavaya-Guruvayur (35 km) new lines.