Goyal asks Kerala to share cost of Sabarimala rail link

Goyal asks Kerala to share cost of Sabarimala rail link

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayai Vijayan. (File Photo)

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday urged Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayai Vijayan to share the 50 per cent cost of long-pending Angamali-Sabarimala new line project, which proposes to provide railway connectivity to Sabarimala hill shrine.

The project, which was aims to provide railway link to Sabarimala, was languishing since 1997 due to delay in land acquisition and now Kerala Government refusing to share the cost of the project, Goyal said in the letter.

Though earlier the Kerala Government agreed for share 50 % of the current total cost Rs 2,815 crore of the project, now it has gone back from its promise. Unless the state government share the cost, the railways not able to meet the entire cost, which escalated several times mainly due to inaction of the state government in acquiring land, the Railway Minister said.  

Though the Railways first announced the project in 1997-98 in its Railways Budget with the expenditure of Rs 550 crore including land acquisition, it hit the hurdle due to delay in land acquisition. The delay, which was caused due to protests from landowners and court cases, resulted in an increase in the cost of the project to Rs 2,815 crore due to escalation.

“Providing cost by the state government will help railways to provide the much-required rail link for the travelling needs of local people and pilgrims the holy shrine, “ Goyal said in its letter.

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