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Kerala Cabinet clears Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram semi high speed rail corridor

Thursday, 08 Aug 2019
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The Kerala Cabinet has given nod to construct a semi high speed rail corridor along 532 km long track connecting Kasaragod in the north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south.

The project will see an investment to the tune of Rs 66,079 crore. The mega infrastructure project will be implemented by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation (KRDCL), a joint venture of the Kerala government and the Railways Ministry.

KRDCL proposes to raise Rs 34,454 crore as loans for the project while the Centre and the state will be required to provide Rs 7,720 crore each. Also, the state government will spend Rs 8,656 crore on land acquisition and allied matters. The remaining funds will be met through loans by the Union and state government.

A feasibility study carried out by Paris-based Systra as the general consultant had projected the internal rate of return as 5.6 percent and 8.1 percent for 30 and 50 years.  

The preliminary feasibility study will be forwarded to the Railway Ministry and a detailed project report (DPR) will be ready by November 2019.

The project is expected to be completed by 2024. The 100 percent green project is expected to reduce journey time from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod to just four hours from 12 hours. Moreover, the running time between Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi will be 90 minutes.

Around 1,200 ha of land will be required to be acquired that will have rails elevated along urban stretches. The trains will run at a maximum speed of 200 km per hour.

The double-line corridor will pass through 11 of the state’s 14 districts and will have 10 stations. The project is also expected to reduce both congestion and pollution on the roads, improve safety and reduce dependence on imported oil.

The rail corridor will also have roads parallel to it, thus opening up the land along the way, helping raise its market value.

The project will create job opportunities for 50,000 during the construction of the corridor and 11,000 once functional. The airports at Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi will also be connected with the rail corridor.

KRDCL expects a ridership of 67,740 passengers a day. It estimates to carry 1,330 travellers in one direction during peak hours. The average number of travellers a day is expected to reach 82,266 by 2028; 1,16,681 by 2040; and 1,47,120 in 2051.


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