Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 17 April 2024 6.35 PM IST

Railway development should be expedited


The demands raised in a meeting of MPs convened by Southern Railway General Manager RN Singh in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday were the same ones that have been repeated in such forums. The MPs mainly raised issues such as speedy completion of the ongoing railway development projects in the state, timely completion of construction of Nemom terminal which has been talked about for years, renovation of railway stations and new trains. The general manager satisfied the MPs by giving the usual answers that everything possible would be implemented. Trains running in the state cannot speed up unless the curves of the tracks are cleared. Work is now underway to straighten the curves and strengthen the tracks. Once it is completed, the speed of the trains will also be increased.

The MPs brought to the attention of the general manager that other trains in the state would have to be delayed after the start of Vande Bharat, which received the largest number of passengers in the country. But he replied that there are no problems for other trains due to Vande Bharat. Only regular travelers can know the real situation. Therefore, the general manager's position may not be accepted by the passengers. The solution to many grievances is to speed up the ongoing projects related to railway development. Things are often not like that. There are often lapses due to budget allocation and timely utilization of it. Funds allotted to Kerala are often diverted to other places when they remain unspent. The general manager said that the works of the long-awaited Nemom terminal will be completed in 2026. Terminal construction should be able to be expedited as even large projects do not require such a long period of time. If land is still needed for development, the state government should acquire the land. The terminal shouldn't be dragged on for the sake of it. Constraints at the central station are the major hurdles in bringing new trains to Thiruvananthapuram. Once Nemom Terminal comes, this problem will be solved permanently. Along with this, the construction of dual carriageway from Thiruvananthapuram to Kanyakumari should also be completed. Its works are going on at a snail's pace.

Some of the trains that were stopped during Covid are yet to resume services. Similarly, the stops that were cancelled on that day also need to be restored. In the meantime, the Angamali-Erumeli railway project had come up in earnest. Meanwhile, the proposal of a new skyway from Chengannur to Pampa came up. The two shouldn't be mixed, resulting in nothing. The state government needs to clarify its position in this regard. It is the responsibility of the state government to convince the general manager that the state government's frequent change of position is adversely affecting the railway development projects in the state.

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