KJ Alphons blames state for delay in track doubling

Meanwhile, sources said land acquisition (LA) in the Kottayam section has run into a fresh challenge.

KOCHI: Union Minister of State for Tourism K.J. Alphons on Wednesday blamed the State Government for the delay in completing doubling works in key sections in the state which prevents the railways from introducing new trains in the state.

"Only a small stretch of portion remains in the 115-km long Ernakulam-Kottayam-Alappuzha- Kayamkulam stretch where doubling of tracks is still pending. The state government has failed to hand over 3.5 acres of land for years together which has prevented the completion of the doubling works. Last year the state had promised to acquire and hand over the land in three months, but nothing happened since," Alphons said after launching the book 'New Railways New Kerala' at a function held at the Ernakulam Junction station here.

Pointing out that the budgetary allocation for railways in the state has increased from Rs 372 crore (2009-14) to Rs 923 crore in the last four years,
Mr. Alphons blamed the state government for non-implementation of joint venture projects like Sabari Rail and doubling of Ernakulam- Alappuzha- Kayamkulam section.

The minister promised that new trains will be introduced and the speed of existing trains increased once the track renewal works, which are at final stage, get over.

The minister said the station renovation works at Ernakulam and Kottayam-Alappuzha will start soon while works at Thrissur and Chengannur have already started.

Meanwhile, sources said land acquisition (LA) in the Kottayam section has run into a fresh challenge. "A new LA rule provides for tax payment on compensation amount.

The remaining land owners now want tax-free compensation as provided to other landowners so far," they said.

Divisional Railway Manager Shirish Kumar Sinha said the division achieved record 90 km track renewal this year (2018-19). "By the end of the financial year, only around 20 km will be left," the minister said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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