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Inadequate Support From Kerala Govt, Other Issues Delay Angamaly-Sabarimala Rail Line: Vaishnaw

The minister’s response came after Congress MP Dean Kuriakose asked questions regarding the current status of the Angamaly-Sabarimala rail line.

Ashwini Vaishnaw
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Angamaly-Sabarimala rail line, which will provide many pilgrims easy access to the Sabarimala temple, got delayed due to inadequate support from the Kerala government among other issues, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw informed the Lok Sabha.

Angamaly-Sabarimala via Erumeli new line project was sanctioned in 1997-98 and work on Angamaly-Kaladi (7 km) and long lead works on Kaladi-Perumbavoor (10 km) was taken up, he said. “However, further works on this project could not be taken forward due to protests by local people against land acquisition and fixing of alignment of the line, court cases filed against the project and inadequate support from the state government of Kerala,” Vaishnaw said in a written reply on Wednesday.

The minister’s response came after Congress MP Dean Kuriakose asked questions regarding the current status of the Angamaly-Sabarimala rail line. Vaishnaw said that it was decided to terminate the alignment at Erumeli, which is about 35 km from Sabarimala shrine, due to the alignment being in thick forest area and issues of survey.

“Accordingly, Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the project from Angamaly up to Erumeli (111 km) has been prepared by M/s KRDCL. The estimated cost of the project has been updated by M/s KRDCL at Rs 3,726.95 crore,” Vaishnaw said. “Meanwhile, demand has been received for exploring a new railway line from Chengannur to Pamba which is a shorter route for Sabarimala shrine. Pamba is situated about 4 km away from Sabarimala shrine," he added.

Updating the current status of the project, the minister stated the final location survey for Chengannur - Pamba (75 km) new line has been sanctioned and the survey of said work has been taken up for preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR). Vaishnaw highlighted various factors that impact the completion of any railway project.

"It depends on quick land acquisition by the state government, shifting of infringing utilities, statutory clearances from various authorities, geological and topographical conditions of area, law and order situation in the area of project(s) site, number of working months in a year for particular project site due to climatic conditions etc.," he said.

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