Project to enhance intra-State connectivity

The high-speed rail corridor, one of the mega projects being showcased at the ongoing Emerging Kerala, is aimed at ensuring quick intra-State connectivity between three major cities and relieving the pressure on existing transport infrastructure.

The ambitious project has been mooted at a time when the transit time between Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode is enormous when compared to global and national standards.

At present, the fastest trains plying through the saturated railway network take more than 7 hours to traverse the State and normal trains take up to 12 hours. A new environment of accelerated industrial, infrastructural, technological, and commercial growth is being witnessed in all major cities and towns. Transport planners say the State needs modern, non-polluting, and energy- conserving modes of transport along with urban mass rapid transit systems such as metro and monorail for facing the challenges.

The high-seed rail corridor to link Thiruvananthapuram with Kasargod has been worked out to trigger the development of the State .

Nine station locations have been identified along the 650-km stretch and a tentative route alignment has been prepared.

The first phase extending from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi is estimated to cost Rs.41,245 crore and the work is scheduled to commence next year. The first phase is scheduled for completion in seven years.

The second phase that would link Kochi with Mangalore is estimated to cost Rs.1.18 lakh crore.

Two parallel tracks each in standard gauge systems, which will be independent of the existing rail network, will be the highlight of the corridor. Initially, trains will run with the highest speed of 200-250 km/hr and at 350 km/hr within two to three years,

The 220-km distance between Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram is expected to be covered in 45 minutes. A passenger train moving through the corridor will have a capacity to carry 817 passengers.

Though opposition has come up from several quarters, a special purpose vehicle — Kerala High Speed Rail Corporation Limited — has been incorporated for implementing the ambitious project.

Now, the government is wooing investors attending the three-day summit at Kochi to the corridor project.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/article3891249.ece

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Published in: on September 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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