Pathanamthitta/New Delhi: The highest ever allocation of Rs 2.40 crore capital outlay set aside for railways in the Union budget is expected to benefit Kerala in the realization of many pending rail development projects, besides getting a few new long-distance trains.
With Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav announcing the revamping of Vande Bharat train production, Kerala, which operates a large number of long-distance trains, hopes to get one or two of the high-speed trains. It may also benefit from the decision to increase the routes of Bharat Gaurav tourist trains operated by private parties.
A sum of Rs 30,749 crore was earmarked for the doubling of rail lines, which has opened the possibility of the state getting funds for track doubling works in the Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari and the Ambalappuzha-Ernakulam sections. Track doubling in the 31 km section from Thiruvananthapuram to Parassala is pending under the first project while the second one has 70 km of doubling work remaining.
The budget set aside Rs 31,850 crore for the addition of new lines. The state also eyes a share out of this for the Angamaly-Erumeli Sabari rail project. Since the Railways give priority to station renovation and electrification works, the state may also receive funds for such projects. The electrification of the Shornur-Nilambur and Punalur-Chenkotta lines is pending.
The state’s share out of the total amount allocated to Railways in the Union budget can be known only after the release of the Pink book.
Practical difficulty in ‘SilverLine’; a bigger project mooted
Meanwhile, the Railway minister again hinted that the state’s ambitious SilverLine project may not be getting the green signal from the Centre.
“There are practical difficulties in implementing the project. However, there is no need for disappointment. Another big project is being mooted to be implemented in the state which will be announced shortly,” he told Manorama.
However, the project details can’t be divulged now, he added.