Representational image | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Kochi: Indian Railways have decided to construct railway tracks in regions with a population of over half a lakh but with no railway facilities. Manjeri, Malappuram, Kodungallur and Nedumangad in Kerala were included in the initial list prepared by the railways.
The zonal railway officers are directed to study the possibility of launching rail routes in the selected regions and submit the report within December 2.
The railway board has distributed the format of the Thodupuzha municipality, which is currently under the proposed Angamaly- Sabari railway project to the zonal officers. Hence, the latest decision may aid to ensure approval for the Sabari rail route soon. Discussions are proceeding to include the proposed Sabari rail route in the PM Gati Shakti project.
The Sabari rail line declared in 1997 will be 111 kilometre long. A seven-kilometre-long track, one-kilometre-long rail bridge and a railway station at Kalady were constructed seven years back.
The works of the rail route, which has been divided into three phases, are proceeding at a snail’s pace. The first phase consists of the regions Ernakulam, Idukki and Kottayam, while the second phase comprises Ranni, Konni, Pathanamthitta and Punalur. The third phase begins from Punalur to Thiruvananthapuram via Nedumangad.
The Sabari rail route will be useful for pilgrims to Sabarimala, Malayattoor and Bharananganam also.
Currently, there is no objection over the proposed Sabari project. The state government which has given nod to incur the expenditure has set aside Rs 2000 crore through KIIFB funds.