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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 19 May 2024 7.16 PM IST

50% cost of Sabari rail line: Finance department forwards file and leaves decision to CM

sabari-patha

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The decision on bearing half the cost of the Angamaly-Erumeli Sabari railway project has been left to the Chief Minister by the Finance Department. The Railways wants Kerala to bear half of the Rs 3800.93 crore required as construction cost which is Rs 1900.47 crore. The file in this regard, which has been under consideration by the Finance Department for three months, was handed over to the Chief Minister. The position of the finance department is that the Chief Minister is the one who should take the decision as the government cannot withdraw if it gives an assurance.

Although the Cabinet meeting in January 2021 decided to allocate funds from KIIFB to cover half of the project cost when it was Rs 2815 crore, there was no further action. The state withdrew from cost-sharing in 2018. It was when the estimate was revised to 3800.93 crores that the Railways sought a written assurance for half the cost. The new estimate will be approved by the Railway Board only after the State issues an order agreeing to this and signs the MoU.

The government is of the opinion that as the Railways is conducting a survey of the Chengannur-Pampa line to replace the Sabaripath, a decision on cost sharing may be made after the details are known. The Chengannur-Pampa route is for the benefit of Sabarimala pilgrims only. The Sabaripatha will facilitate the Sabarimala pilgrims and accelerate the economic development of Ernakulam, Kottayam and Idukki districts and can be extended to Punalur and Thiruvananthapuram in future.

100 crores will be wasted if government does not agree

  • 100 crore allocated for the project in the central budget will be wasted if the government does not agree to share the cost.
  • Only after getting the government's letter can the Railways cancel the order of 2019 which froze the project and start land acquisition.
  • Of the Angamaly-Erumeli 111 km Sabaripath announced in the 1997 railway budget, Angamaly-Kalady 7 km track and Periyar flyover have been constructed.
  • 104 km track is to be constructed. 274 hectares of land should be acquired. 14 stations should be constructed

Expenses are skyrocketing

(Amount in Crores)

1997..........517

2017..........2815

2021..........3347

2023..........3800

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