The railway line extension to Mangaluru is not included in the detailed project report (DPR) that was submitted to the Railway Board for approval.
The suggestion was discussed at the Southern Zonal Council’s 30th meeting, which took place on 3rd September in Thiruvananthapuram. The two States have agreed to meet at the chief ministerial level by the end of this month in Bengaluru to discuss this.
V Ajithkumar, managing director of K-Rail stated that there were no major technical or economical challenges to extending the rail line to Mangaluru. A new traffic study had to be done as part of extending around less than 50 km line to the port city of Karnataka. The project will cost an additional ₹6,000 crore as per the estimate of ₹120 crores a km.
The plan to expand the line to Mangaluru was first put forth when the high-speed rail project was first conceived by E. Sreedharan, the Principal Advisor of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), during the previous United Democratic Front (UDF) govt. The State govt is investigating the possibility of extending the line to Mangaluru in the second phase.
People in the north and central Kerala would have new opportunities as the second-largest industrial city in Karnataka would be nearby, just a short distance from the State.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, who attended the meeting, focused on the need to link the high-speed rail between Chennai and Coimbatore to the cities in the neighboring States.