`Metro city' clause hits rapid rail plan
The implementation of proposed rapid rail transit system (RRTS) from Thiruvananthapuram to Chengannur seemed a hassle-free affair when officials led by planning board vice-chairman KM Chandrasekhar met Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu two weeks ago. There were reports that the Union government had agreed to share 50% of the project. However, things do not look that bright after chief minister Oommen Chandy met Prabhu on Tuesday .
Sources said the Union minister informed Chandy that the Union ministry has proposals to implement RRTS in metros only . District collector Biju Prabhakar, the nodal officer for the project, said that the Centre has conveyed that funding is not possible. “We are still pushing for 50-50 funding option,“ he said.
The feasibility report submitted by Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC), RRTS will ensure a travel time of 130 to 160 minutes from state capital to Chengannur. The sixcar service will have a passenger capacity of 1,916. Initially, it was stated that the entire project cost of Rs 3,330.78 crore was to be funded by the state government.
The RRTS was suggested as a cost-effective solution as the new rail corridor or road widening is a huge challenge due to the new land acquisition act.“Cost of new rail corridor at grade and elevated corridor will be around Rs 5,700 crore and Rs 25,000 crore for the same distance. Therefore upgradation of existing railway network is the most immediate cost-effective solution,“ MRVC stated in the feasibility report.
(Times of India dt 15-1-2015)
(Malayala Manorama dt 15-1-2015)