Kerala's high-speed rail project gets green signal

In a boost to Kerala’s efforts to fast-track infrastructure development, the Centre has given the green signal to its ambitious high speed rail corridor project, linking the entire stretch from Kasargod in the north to the state capital in the south.

At a high-level meeting convened at the Prime Minister’s Office in Delhi on Friday evening, the state was asked to draw up a detailed project report (DPR) of the scheme, official sources here said.

Pulok Chatterjee, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Kerala Chief Secretary P Prabhakaran and Managing Director of Infrastructure Kerala Ltd T Balakrishnan were involved in the discussions.

The meeting was convened in response to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s plea to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking the Centre’s support for the mega project.

The 580-km track which will reduce end-to-end running time to two to three hours, is expected to cost Rs 1 lakh crore.

Though the finance pattern of the project is yet to be finalised, it is likely to be a private-public partnership venture with technical and financial collaboration of the Indian Railways, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Central and state governments, sources said.

The green signal to the high speed rail project has come close on the heels of the Kochi Metro Rail, the basic work on which has already begun.

On coming to power in May 2011, the UDF Government headed by Chandy unveiled an ambitious development agenda with its focus on infrastructure development.

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