Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government will go ahead with the K-Rail project, the state Finance Minister K N Balagopal said while presenting the state budget in the Assembly. He mentioned the same about the Kozhikode, and Thiruvananthapuram Light Metro projects as well. Balagopal expressed hope to secure the Centre's permission for the Thiruvananthapuram Metro, soon.
The minister said, "Discussions are on with the Central government to materialise the K-Rail project. With the arrival of the Vande Bharat Express, both the people and media have got clarity on the state government's stance on the matter (The high-speed railway network). Kerala's development was neglected in this year's Central Budget as well. Kerala's passengers are suffering and the freight services through railways is also in a crisis. The Railways has not been able to keep pace with Kerala's growth." He added that along with the doubling lining, straightening of curves, and renovation of the existing tracks, a new high-speed line is required to move forward.
A few days ago, Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnav said in a press meeting after this year's Union Budget that the central government allotted Rs 2,744 crore to Kerala for the state's railway development. Vaihnav also outlined the central government's plans for the Sabari railway project, which envisions a 111-kilometer railway line from Angamaly to Erumeli, and possibly extending to a convenient location near Pamba.
He mentioned that two alignments for the project were under consideration, and highlighted the need for the Kerala state government to actively participate in the land acquisition process, including straightening existing curves in the route.