Mar 6, 2017

Kerala hopeful of extending high-speed rail corridor

Seeks Karnataka’s help to extend corridor to Mangaluru

Kerala has sought the support of the Karnataka government to extend to Mangaluru the proposed 430-km high-speed railway (HSR) line between Kochuveli in Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur.

Through the extension, the government intends to include the backward district of Kasaragod in the HSR and provide a south-to-north high-speed rail corridor.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to the Karnataka government seeking its cooperation for extending the HSR, official sources said. The Chief Minister had recently announced the move in the Assembly.
The Rs. 1,27,849-crore project is aimed at making travel hassle-free and reducing congestion on State roads. Extending the line further to Mangaluru via Kasaragod will result in the project cost going up. By roping in the Karnataka government, the State is trying to finance the HSR beyond the borders of Kerala as it will benefit Karnataka.

The Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and approved by the State is to be submitted to the Union government for mandatory approval.

A recent survey held for Kerala High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (KHSRCL), a public limited company floated by the government to execute the project, in 11 districts and 110 Assembly constituencies has found that 86% of the participants supported the project. The survey was carried out by the Gurgaon-based Centre for Forecasting & Research (Cfore) between November 23, 2016, and January 14 this year.

Through the findings of the survey, the authorities are trying to counter the opposition that may come up against land acquisition and dissent despite it avoiding the busy cities and towns.

As much as 1,155.57 hectares of private land has to be acquired, 3,868 residential/commercial structures relocated, and 36,923 trees felled as per the DPR prepared by the DMRC. - The Hindu

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