Sabari Rail: Centre to consider construction only after receiving revised estimates

Vallarpadam Railway Station

Thodupuzha : Union railway minister Ashwani Vaishnav has said that the Kerala government’s frequent change of stand regarding sharing the construction cost of Sabari Rail and its lack of cooperation had led to the freezing of the project.
The minister informed this in Lok Sabha while replying to a question from Dean Kuriakose. The state government had written a letter to the Centre on November 27, 2015 stating that it was ready to bear half of the cost of Sabari Rail and MoU was signed on September 1, 2016. Subsequently the state backed out of its earlier stand of sharing the cost of the project.

The state government's support was sought for constructing the railway line for Sabarimala pilgrims. Thereafter the railways sent several letters to the state government but the latter did not extend any cooperation. Finally the Centre decided in 2019 to temporarily freeze the project.

The state government sent a letter in January 2021 stating that it is ready to bear half of the project cost.

The state government and central government's joint venture company KRDCL was entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the revised estimates of the project. But only the revised estimates of the 70 km stretch which was earmarked in 2002, has been received so far. Though the KRDCL carried out the lidar survey for preparing the estimate for the remaining 41 km stretch, the revised estimates for the same have not been received yet.

The railway minister informed the Lok Sabha that the Centre would consider restarting the construction of the project subject to the receipt of revised estimates for the 111 km stretch.     

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