New Delhi: The proposed Sabarimala railway project in Kerala has not made progress even after so many years of efforts due to a lack of cooperation from the state government and two alternative alignments are being looked at, Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Wednesday. The project, also known as the Sabari rail project, is aimed at providing connectivity for pilgrims visiting the Sabarimala temple in the state. The Railways Minister told the Lok Sabha that two alternative alignments are being looked at for the project. Sabari rail project is another classic case study in which despite so many years of efforts, it has not made the kind of progress it should have because of the lack of cooperation from the state government on the issue of land acquisition and giving matching funds, he said during the Question Hour.
"Right now, we are working on two possible alternative alignments. One alignment will take the project line very close to the shrine and the other alignment will terminate at around 25-26 km before the shrine. Once both the alignments are fully examined, then only a final decision will be taken," Vaishnaw said. Emphasising that the government is committed to the development of the railway network in Kerala, the minister said an important project is to take the network to the Sabarimala shrine.
The Chengannur to Pamba railway line is a new alignment and the Detailed Project Report (DPR) is under preparation. Once the alignment is chosen and the DPR is completed, then the next steps will be taken, he said. As many members were asking supplementaries about specific railway stations, Speaker Om Birla suggested that members should be asking about policy matters rather than about railway stations.