Kochi: The Sabari rail project has got a shot in the arm with an allocation of Rs 220 crore, nearly double the last year's outlay, for its execution in the Union budget. It also has sanctioned the doubling Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari line and a third line in the Ernakulam-Shornur section. It has provisions for doubling works in the Kottayam section besides that in the Ernakulam-Alappuzha-Kayamkulam coastal railway sector.
“The Centre has allocated a total outlay of Rs 923 crore to the state for various railway projects for the year 2018-19. The new projects announced are the Rs 1518-crore doubling in the Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari section and a third line in the 107-km long Ernakulam-Shornur congested sector,” said a railway spokesperson, quoting from the budget details presented in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
With the substantial allocation, the work of the 116-km long Angamaly-Sabarimala rail project is expected to gather steam. Though sanctioned in 1998, the project came to a standstill after the setting up of the 7.5 km Angamaly-Kalady line in 2010, mainly due to the fund crunch and alignment issues. “The land acquisition at Kunnathunadu, Muvattupuzha and Kothamangalam taluks will be completed soon. The project is executed jointly by the railways and the state, and we expect the state to chip in with its share,” a senior railway official said.
The budget allocated Rs 56.5 crore for doubling in Kuruppanthara-Chingavanam (26.54 km) section, Rs 17.9 crore for that in the Chengannur-Chingavanam (26.5 km) section and Rs 6.40 crore in the Mulanthuruthy-Kuruppanthara (24 km) section. For the doubling works in the coastal railway section, a sum of Rs 21 crore was allocated for the Ernakulam-Kumbalam-Turavur (23 km) section. The budget also provides for a new railway line in Thirunavaya-Guruvayur section, the second phase of coaching terminal at Kochuveli, an additional pitline at Ernakulam and additional platforms at stations like Kannur.