Kochi: Ernakulam old railway station is all set for a comeback after renovation. At present, the renovation of the railway tracks has begun here.

The work is in progress on the stretch from old railway station to Pachalam. The tracks which are more than 100 years old are completely covered with waste and soil over time.

The works are underway to clear the waste and soil from the tracks. Earlier, the government sanctioned a project of Rs 1.5 crore to renovate the railway station. The work is undergoing.

The development committee has been asked to carry out renovation preserving the heritage of the place. Meanwhile, the ministry of railways is yet to give sanction for the renovation.

The railway board has considered the renovation project under Public Private Partnership model. The project will be implemented by forming a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with 74 percent share from private firms and 13 percent share each from railway and state government.

Haritha project worth Rs 505 crore is under consideration of the railways. The first train had arrived in Kochi at the old railway station.

The railway station entered history books as its works were finished by Maharaja Rama Varma of Kochi. The king sold caparisons of Sree Poornathrayeesa temple to raise funds to construct this railway station in Kochi, as noted in history.

The railway station is a historic place which witnessed many major events in Kerala. Mahatma Gandhi arrived here to take part in Vaikom Satyagraha. Great personalities of India like Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore have also visited here.

Rehabilitation of 21 families poses challenge

The rehabilitation of 21 families is the major challenge posed while rebuilding the old railway station.

“The corporation should take immediate action to rehabilitate the 21 families in the puramboke land here,” said old railway station development committee general convenor KP Harikumar.

He also warned that protest will be staged if the authority delays action.