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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 21 April 2024 7.47 PM IST

Sabari rail line: State without bearing 50% of expenditure

sabari-patha

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala turns its back on bearing half the cost of the Sabari railway. When K-Rail submitted a revised estimate of Rs 3800.93 crore, the Railways sought an assurance that the state would bear half the cost of Rs 1900.47 crore. Minister in charge of Railways V Abdurahiman told 'Kerala Kaumudi' that no decision has been taken on this. K-Rail Corporation also said that it is not aware whether the government has decided to bear half the cost.

The Cabinet meeting had decided in January 2021 to bear half the cost. The cost was 2815 crores then. Railways sought confirmation again when the estimate was revised recently. 3347.35 crores estimate prepared by K-Rail has been approved by Railways. The new estimate has not been sent to the Railway Board as the state has not signed an MoU to share the cost. 50% cost is demanded in projects judged to be economically unviable.

A survey is in progress for the Chengannur-Pamba elevated road as an alternative to Angamaly-Sabari Patha. The position of the Railways is that the final decision will be made after comparing the two project documents. Angamaly-Sabari Patha will facilitate the Sabarimala pilgrims and also help in the development of Ernakulam, Kottayam and Idukki districts. This may be extended to Punalur and Thiruvananthapuram in future. This is the reason why the state has taken a position that the railways should inform which project is being implemented. Angamaly-Kaladi 7km route and Periyar flyover have been constructed so far. 104 km in the Kaladi-Erumeli route is to be constructed.

"The government has not received the letter requesting to share the cost. It can be decided after knowing things clearly. Railways are dragging many projects in the Pink Book."

-V. Abdurrahman, Minister

Waiting for the whistle for three decades

1997: The scheme was announced in the Railway Budget

2015: State agreed to bear half the cost

2017: The estimate was revised to 2815 crores

2018: State withdrew from cost sharing

2019: The project was frozen by Southern Railway

2020: The estimate has risen to 3347 crores

2021: Government agreed to bear half the cost

2023: 100 crore allocated in the central budget

2024: The estimate revised to 3800.93 crores

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