It begins steps to revise estimate and undertake LiDAR survey
Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL), the special purpose vehicle for executing viable rail projects on cost-sharing basis with Railways, has evinced interest in executing the Angamali-Sabarimala rail project .
The move comes within three months of Kerala agreeing to the demand of Railways to bear 50% of the estimated ₹2,815.62 crore of the 116-km Angamaly-Azhutha Sabari Rail. The Cabinet had already decided to make available 50% of the estimate from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) to Railways.
The State had informed the Centre that Railways would be responsible for construction and maintenance of the 116-km line while en route station development would be through public-private partnership. The income would be shared 50:50 between the State and Railways after deducting the expense.
Responding to the KRDCL’s interest, Railways have asked it to update the estimate as the present one was taken in 2015.
Official sources told The Hindu that the KRDCL had commenced steps to revise the estimate and undertake a LiDAR survey to get clarity on the alignment along the 40-km Ramapuram-Erumeli corridor.
The KRDCL had floated bids for selecting the agency for undertaking LiDAR, an aerial remote sensing survey method.
The estimate of the rail line had gone up from ₹550 crore to ₹1,234 crore in 2005, to ₹1,566 crore in 2011, and then to ₹2,815.62 crore. In the 2019-2020 Budget, ₹1 core was allocated. Although Railways have not ‘defreezed’ the project despite Kerala agreeing to share 50% of the cost, only ₹1,000 was provided in the 2021-2022 Union Budget.
As much as 470.77 ha is needed for Sabari Rail that passes through Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam, and Pathanamthitta districts.
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