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New Railway link planned between Mysore and Malabar region of North Kerala as Thalassery-Mysuru line found viable

A Detailed Project Report (DPR) will be prepared for the proposed railway corridor from Thalassery to Mysuru, conceived 58 years ago for better connectivity to Bengaluru and development of Malabar, based on a feasibility study carried out by Railways.

The freight movement by rail from Malabar region in North Kerala to various towns in Karnataka has to go via a circuitous route via Palghat, Coimbatore Jolarpet to reach their destination.

The decision ignores the feasibility report of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which found that the project would not be beneficial as only the people of North Kerala beyond Kuttippuram would benefit.

The preparation of the DPR for the new railway corridor will be entrusted to public sector undertakings under Railways such as RITES and Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC).

Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd. (KRDCL), the joint venture set up for the cost-sharing of viable projects by the State and Railways, would make the choice.

Further, the government is determined to get the rail line as it will give extended connectivity to the Kannur international airport to be commissioned in 2018, trigger development of Malabar, and give a fillip to the tourism sector.

As per a survey estimate with the Railway Board, the 247.5-km line between Thalassery and Mysuru via Wayanad will cost Rs 3,209.01 crore and the 298.75 km via Coorg, Rs 3,778.71 crore. But Railways did not go ahead with the proposal terming it unviable. Forest clearance for the project could become a major hurdle for the project since the railway line criss crosses the Western ghats

Following pressure from local people, the DMRC under Principal Adviser E. Sreedharan was roped in for a feasibility study. The DMRC, in its report, said the rail line needed to be laid on 190.22 km of the 206.51 km Thalassery-Mysuru stretch. The DMRC had mentioned as hurdles the high cost Rs 6,685 crore due to the presence of a 53-km Ghats section and the need for laying a 11.45-km tunnel across a wildlife sanctuary of Karnataka, and low traffic. The project was then abandoned.

The new chief minister of Kerala is from the Malabar region, North Kerala which was neglected for years in terms of development projects since the formation of the state.


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