Railway had rejected UDF's Suburban rail project, confirms document

By Prashanth Krishna/ Mathrubhumi News

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Oommen Chandy | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: The suburban rail project proposed by the UDF as a substitute for SilverLine was a project rejected by the railways. Mathrubhumi News has received evidence of Indian railways' decision to scrap the project in 2017.

Oommen Chandy had said that the Suburban railway is a better substitute for the SilverLine project. It was in 2016 that UDF introduced the proposal for suburban rail when their previous plan for high-speed rail got rejected. A feasibility study of the project was also conducted.

UDF targeted to construct the rail from Thiruvananthapuram to Kannur under a total expense of Rs 10,000 crores. It had been proposed to use the existing rail track for operating services from Thiruvananthapuram to Chengannur in the first phase. The study reports were also submitted to the railway board.

However, the board informed its final decision only in 2017 during the term of the Pinarayi government. By rejecting the proposal for suburban railways, the board asserted that the service will not be possible through the existing track. The board also advised constructing a new railway if it is necessary to take up the Suburban rail project.

The railway has not accepted that the Suburban rail project can be implemented as a substitute for SilverLine. Even if Kerala resorts to adopting the Suburban rail project, a new rail path should be constructed. This finding contradicts Oommen Chandy’s claim over the once rejected proposal.

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