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Railway corridor project gets boost

J. Balaji

DMRC to undertake feasibility study



NEW DELHI: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will undertake a feasibility study for Kerala's 650-km south-north high-speed rail corridor project connecting Thiruvananthapuram with Manjeshwaram in Kasaragod district.

The study will begin next month and be completed in six months. As acquiring land for the highway is posing a problem, the State government is mooting the project as it requires only 20-metre width on the entire stretch. Depending on the topography, the corridor will pass through at the elevated/ground level.

Industries Minister Elamaram Karim, talking to the media here on Friday after meeting DMRC Chairman E. Sreedharan, said as per a rough estimate, it would cost Rs.70 crore to lay one kilometre of line. The State Cabinet had given its nod to undertake the study for the State's dream project in February this year.

“The route of the high-speed corridor, the cities to be connected and how much time will be taken to complete the project… all these issues will be covered in the study,” he said.

Sources said as per the plan of the State government, the project might be undertaken in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode and trains could be operated at 200-250 km speed like those functioning in Japan, Korea and other foreign countries.

Even as per the rough estimate, the project would cost not less than Rs.50,000 crore.

Kochi corridor

Mr. Karim said Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma would convene a meeting of Kerala-Tamil Nadu governments here to discuss the proposed Kochi- Coimbatore dedicated freight corridor for road transport to be undertaken jointly by both the governments. The Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor company would play the role of a coordinator.

Mr.Sreedharan hoped the Cabinet nod for the Kochi metro to be undertaken on the Delhi model might be given. Though the Planning Commission and the Urban Development Ministry had earlier cleared the project on the Delhi model, the Finance Ministry raised objection and suggested that it could be carried out in the PPP model.

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