Kozhikode: The Wayanad Railway project which had made progress has been kept at bay as the LDF government which is exploring the possibilities of the Thalassery- Mysore railway line. Therefore this has caused a setback to the Wayanad railway action council which has been campaigning for the materialisation of the project for decades. The council which had volunteers across political barriers found that its pro-LDF workers backed out from the frontline, reducing it into a body of independents and pro-UDF workers, after the CPM at the state-level turned against the project.
Though many of the CPM leaders including Kalpetta MLA C.K. Saseendran still claim that there is only a procedural delay, there is a widespread feeling that during the tenure of the LDF, the project will not become a reality. Though many of the workers were unhappy with the way things turned out, they were not ready to antagonize the party, said action council leaders. Action council leader T.M. Rasheed told DC that many of the leaders were evading questions over the issue as they could not justify the government stand.
“We are not against the Thallassery rail project. But it was easier to link the Wayanad rail project with Thalassery as the latter was termed viable and had made more progress,” he claimed. Citing documents, Mr Rasheed said that a communiqué of the transport department to the finance department and to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in June 2016 had recommended the project. The communiqué by KR Jyot-hilal, transport secretary, had said that “the state has already decided to bear the share of the 50 per cent cost of construction and has announced `5 crore initially in the state budget”.
The note further said that “the government of Kerala had conveyed its decision to prioritize this project for implementation under the Joint Venture with the railways”. The line has been included in the railway budget under Extra Budgetary Resources EBR fining a cost of Rs 6,000 crore, the note further said. Such a project for which Rs 2 crore was released by order for preparations of DPR, was torpedoed by some elements in the government, Mr Rasheed alleged. “However a debate is on whether to fight it legally or politically”, he added....