Kerala government apathy derails project

Kozhikode: The lethargy of the state government in releasing funds sanctioned for the detailed project report (DPR) for the Nilambur-Nanjangud railway station has put the CPM in a fix.

It was a long agitation as well as the systematic lobbying by the Nilgiri-Wayanad Railway and National Highway Action Cuncil in association with  Nilambur- Nanjangud Railway Action Council that helped in bringing the project to the national limelight.

The organisations also ensured involvement of governments of three southern states - Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The project envisages linking the rail heads of Nilambur in Malappuram and Nanjangud in Karnataka, thus directly linking capitals of two states - Bangalore and Thiruvananthapuram.  The previous UDF government had sanctioned Rs 8 crore for preparing the DPR and also decided to entrust the DMRC with the work. But the LDF government, though Rs 2 crore has been sanctioned for preparing DPR months ago, is yet to release it.

The first survey for the railway project was conducted long back in 1882 during the British period. Since then the Nilambur- Nanjangud was in the limelight.

Action council convener T.M. Rasheed told DC that the lackadaisical attitude of the state government might result in withdrawal of DMRC from the project. The cold-shouldering by the LDF government may push the project back to square one, he said.  

In an order dated February 12, 2017, transport secretary K. R. Jyothilal had sanctioned `8 crore for DMRC and ordered the immediate release of `2 crore as the first instalment. However, both the political fronts which were united earlier got divided now.

Sulthan Bathery MLA I.C. Balakrishnan told DC that the LDF government was trying to torpedo the project as the Kannur lobby is seeking to promote the Thalassery-Mysore railway line.

“It is sad that they attempt to kill an ambitious project, a long dream of people of Wayanad,” he added.

Meanwhile, minister in charge of railways G. Sudhakaran told the assembly on Tuesday that the government is committed to the project. A new alignment avoiding the Bandipur national park is also under the consideration, he said.

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