Coach factory still on, Goyal tells VS

Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has informed former Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan that the Centre has not dropped the proposal for a coach factory at Kanjikode in Palakkad.

A press note issued by Mr. Achuthanandan’s office said here on Friday that the Railway Minister had stated clearly in his reply written on July 9 that the Centre had not given up the proposal. Mr. Goyal had, however, qualified his statement making it clear that the proposal would go forward depending on the outcome of an assessment of the number and type of coaches needed.

Letters to Centre

The letter, Mr. Achuthanandan’s office said, also included reference to the laxity shown by the last United Democratic Front (UDF) government and the many letters that the Central government had written to the Chief Minister on various railway development projects.

Mr. Achuthanandan had passed on the contents of the Union Minister’s letter to the Chief Minister’s office, the press note added.

Mr. Goyal had assured Mr. Achuthanandan that the Central government had not given up the project when he called on the Union Minister at New Delhi late last month.

Mr. Achuthanandan, who represents the Malampuzha Assembly constituency in which Kanjikode falls, had called on Mr. Goyal on June 23 while in the national capital to attend a CPI(M) Central committee meeting.

Mr. Achuthanandan had called on Mr. Goyal a day after Left Democratic Front (LDF) MPs had staged a protest demonstration before the Rail Bhavan to protest against the reported Central move to drop the project. Mr. Goyal had cited the State government’s failure to acquire the required extent of land for the project not taking off.

The State government had acquired 240 acres of land for the project and has been waiting ever since for the next move from the Centre.

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