Kochi: The Railways has sanctioned an additional Rs 985 crore for acquiring land for various rail projects in Kerala.
An additional allocation of Rs 475 crore has been sanctioned for the doubling of the Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari rail line, Rs 262 crore for the doubling of Ernakulam-Kumbalam line, and Rs 248 crore for the doubling of Kumbalam-Thuravoor line.
Manorama had published a news report on railway projects getting stalled in the state owing to inadequate funds for acquiring land.
These projects are part of the Railway Ministry's 'Vision 2024', a sub set of the National Rail Plan.
If the state government acquires and hands over the land before March 2022, the projects can be completed by March 2024, senior officials of the Southern Railway said.
The onus is now on the state government to complete the doubling projects with the sanctioning of extra funds. If the land acquisition is not carried out in a time-bound manner, there is a possibility that the money could be diverted to other projects later.
A total of Rs 407 crore was needed to acquire land from Thiruvananthapuram to Parassala (30 km). In addition to the earlier sanction of Rs 125 crore, Rs 475 crore has been now allocated. With this, Rs 600 crore is available for land acquisition.
For the doubling of the Ernakulam-Ambalappuzha line, the revenue department had issued a notification to acquire land in Ernakulam and Alappuzha districts. However, no steps were initiated. Around 5.87 hectares have to be acquired in Ernakulam and 32 hectares in the Alappuzha district.
The land acquisition process from Thiruvananthapuram to Nemom (14.84 hectares) is progressing in the Thiruvananthapuram district. Around Rs 38 crore is yet to be received for the development of Kochuveli platform. Currently, this project only has Rs 3.5 crore. The works have hit a roadblock.
The doubling of the Ernakulam-Kayamkulam line via Kottayam is in the final stage. Along with this, the double track via Alappuzha would also benefit Kerala.
For the Alappuzha line, money has been sanctioned now for acquiring land from Ernakulam to Thuravoor. The allocation for the Thuravoor-Ambalappuzha stretch is likely to be received later.
Funds Allotted So Far: Rs 1,110 crore in total
• Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari (86.56km) - Rs 475 crore (earlier sanction of Rs 125 crore + latest Rs 475 = Rs 600 crore)
• Ernakulam-Kumbalam (7.71km) - Rs 262 crore
• Kumbalam–Thuravoor (15.59km) - Rs 248 crore