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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 24 May 2024 1.29 PM IST

Kerala will bear half the cost of Sabari patha; 1900.47 crore expenditure approved by Finance Department 

sabari-

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After Rs 100 crore was allocated in the central budget, Kerala has agreed to bear half of the Sabari railway construction cost of Rs 3800.93 crore. The file for the 1900.47 crore expenditure was approved by the Finance Department and handed over to the Chief Minister. Now it should get the approval of the cabinet meeting. Allotment of money will be by KIIFB.

The government's stand was that the cost-sharing can be decided after knowing the project details clearly. This was reported by 'Kerala Kaumudi' on January 21. The Cabinet meeting decided in January 2021 to allocate 2000 crores from KIIFB while the project cost was 2815 crores, but no further action was taken. When the estimate was revised to 3800.93 crores, the Railways asked for written assurance for half the cost. The new estimate will be accepted by the Railway Board only after the State has issued an order to share the cost and signed the MoU. Kerala can pay the money after the construction starts. It will take at least two years to complete the environmental impact study and acquire the land.

Chengannur-Pamba elevated route as well

Angamaly-Erumeli Sabaripatha is 111 km. Alternatively, the survey for the 60 km Chengannur-Pamba elevated road is in progress. The position of the Railways is that the final decision will be taken after comparing the two plans. However, the government wants both routes. The Chengannur-Pamba route is for the benefit of Sabarimala pilgrims only. Sabaripatha will help the economic development of Ernakulam, Kottayam and Idukki districts also. It may be extended to Punalur and Thiruvananthapuram in the future.

Freeze should be lifted

  • Even though Rs 100 crore has been allocated in the budget, the land can be acquired only if the railway cancels the order of 2019 which froze the project.
  • 100 crores were allocated in the last central budget as well but it was wasted. This amount cannot be used for other purposes
  • 104 km of the 111 km route has to be constructed. Angamaly-Kaladi 7km railway line and Periyar flyover has been constructed

What is needed

  • Acquiring 274 hectares of land
  • Constructing 14 stations
  • 13 km tunnel
  • Concrete tracks like metro
  • Wireless signal system
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