Survey a farce, says committee

Attempt to subvert Nilambur-Nanjangud project alleged

The Nilgiri-Wayanad NH and Railway Action Committee has alleged that the survey launched by the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) for the proposed Thalassery-Wayanad-Mysuru rail line was a farce. The ongoing survey would cost ₹18 crore to the exchequer but it would not benefit the State in any manner, T.M. Rahseed, convener of the action committee, said.

Moreover, the Karnataka Government and the Railway Board were yet to permit the agency to conduct the survey. Karnataka had decided not to go ahead with the project owing to the stiff opposition from the Forest department officials there, Mr. Rasheed said. Why should the Kerala Government spent such a huge amount for a project that was not certain to be approved, he asked.

As many as five feasibility studies, including two during the British era, had been conducted for the railway line since 1910 but all them had found that the project would not be remunerative, Mr. Rasheed said.

Alternative line

In contrast, a recent study of the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation on the proposed Nilambur–Sulthan Bathery-Nanjangud railway line had said that the project was the only feasible one as it would reduce the rail distance between Shoranur and Mysuru from 617 km to 253 km.

The Nilambur–Sulthan Bathery-Nanjangud project would benefit entire Kerala and would provide port outlets for Mysuru, Bangaluru, and hinderlands of Karnataka. The Kerala Government had approved the final location survey for the Nilambur-Nanjangud railway line, he said.

However, now the government was trying to sabotage the project by launching the heli-borne survey after the intervention of a Kannur lobby, he alleged.

Hence, the government should withdraw from the survey and recover the amount incurred from the officials concerned, Mr. Rasheed demanded.

Meanwhile, traders’ organisations in Sulthan Bathery have decided to take out a march to the helipad at Sulthan Bathery on Thursday against the alleged attempts to subvert the Nilambur-Nanjangud railway line project.

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