Kerala govt pushes for Kanhangad-Kaniyur rly line

Proposed line would cut Kanhangad - B'lore distance by 309 kms

Kerala govt pushes for Kanhangad-Kaniyur rly line

After the new government took charge in Karnataka, Kerala is once again pushing for the long proposed Kanhangad-Kaniyur railway line which, if materialised will drastically cut short the distance between North Kerala and Bangalore.

The proposed 71 km line has two phases, Kanjangad-Panathur (40 km) and Panathur-Kaniyur (31 km) and the survey for the first phase was completed in 2009, and the same has been approved by the department of Railways. The remaining 31 km comes in Karnataka and so far the state has not evinced much interest in the matter.

Kasargod MP P Karunakaran, has sent a letter to the Karnataka Minister-in-charge of Railways, requesting to look into the matter at the earliest as it is a much beneficial route. “The railway department itself has approved that the line is highly feasible and cost effective. It will cater to scores of students pursuing studies in Bangalore as well as professionals and trading communities. It will  also provide fillip to the tourism sector connecting Talacauvery, Subrahmanya, Bekal and Ranipuram,” he told Deccan Herald.

The MP was of the opinion that once Karnataka completes the survey, the line will find it's place in the next Railway Budget. The issue was also been discussed with MP Jayaprakash Hegde, who is the member of Railway Parliamentary Consultative Committee. MP P Karunakaran said that he had sought appointment with Karnataka Minister's to discuss the matter in detail.

Six hours to Bangalore

Jose Kochikunnel, a construction engineer who first mooted the idea of the railway line on Kanhangad-Panathur route said the present Kannur-Bangalore route via Palghat is 657 kms.

It was taking 12 hours to reach the destination. Kannur-Yeshwantpur route via Mangalore also takes same time. However, with the proposed line, Bangalore will be only 348 kms away from Kanhangad. With this, one can reach Bangalore within six to seven hours.

From Kaniyur, the proposed line will join Mangalore-Hassan railway line and that leads to Bangalore. The Kerala government has already agreed to shoulder the cost of the land acquisition for laying the track between Kanhangad and Panathur.

As per the preliminary survey, Kanhangad-Panathur route will have one bridge, six railway stations and two-km tunnel. “The proposed line can also be connected through Sullia. From Panathur, there is a PWD road upto Sullia, which passes through Kallapally, Bedadukka and Alatti. The proposed line can be laid parallel to the existing road. A State Highway is passing through this land towards Subrahmanya, Kaniyur and Puttur. As it is a public road, the proposed line can be laid parallel to the existing road,” says Kochikunnel.

Environmental concern

It is learned that environmental concern is the stumbling block for conducting the survey along Panathur-Kaniyur line. Though Kerala officials claim that only less than a kilometer of forest near Sullia will be affected, sources in the Karnataka Forest department say the affecting area could be considerably large.

Apart from this line, Kerala government is all set to approach Karnataka to get a nod for Nilambur-Nanchangode and Thalassery-Mysore railway lines.

Recently, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has categorically announced that Nilambur-Nanchangode would be the next railway line that the State would start work soon.

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