KOCHI (Metro Rail News): Kerala will get a special railway corridor along its 532-km length by 2024, as the state government is set to build an Rs 66,079-crore rail line that will enable semi-high speed trains to ply between upstate Kasaragod and the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram.
A Cabinet meeting of the state’s ministers gave clearance to the implementation of the mega infrastructure project by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), a joint venture of Kerala government and Railway Ministry.
The completion of the double line spanning 532 km is expected to reduce congestion along with the state’s railway traffic that is already 115 percent of its capacity, according to V.Ajith Kumar, managing director, KRDCL. KRDCL will have to acquire about 1,200 hectares for the project that will have the rails elevated along urban stretches.
The trains will run at a maximum speed of 200 km per hour. They will initially have nine coaches, and the number will be subsequently enhanced to 12. The travel charge is projected to be Rs 2.75 per km, and there will be an annual hike of 7.5 percent, he added.
KRDCL expects a ridership of 67,740 passengers a day. It estimates to carry 1,330 travelers in one direction at peak hours. For meeting the expenses of the Rs 66,079-crore project, Rs 34,454 crore will come as loans. The Centre and state will need to provide Rs 7,720 crore each.
The Kerala government will spend Rs 8,656 crore on land acquisition and allied matters. The rest of the expenses will be met through other loans by the union and state governments, said Ajith Kumar.