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Alignment of Semi-high speed rail yet to be decided: KRDCL

Alignment of Semi-high speed rail yet to be decided: KRDCL

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd on Thursday said a final decision on the alignment of the proposed 532 km double line Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram Semi-High Speed Rail (SHSR) rail corridor had not yet been taken.

The corporation also dismissed as baseless and misleading reports in a section of the media that a final decision on the alignment of the rail corridor has been taken.

It is absolutely misleading and baseless to suggest that KRDCL has taken a final decision on the proposed SHSR rail corridor, a top official of the corporation clarified.

The work currently in progress is that of marking the ground-points for conduct of aerial survey.The ground-points are being marked at a distance of every 25 km and with as much width, the official pointed out.

This work has been misunderstood by some as that of marking the alignment of the ambitious rail project. The alignment will be finalised only with the approval of the state government and after completion of the aerial survey and further studies, a press release, quoting the official, said.

The process of land acquisition for the greenfield project will start only after the finalisation of the alignment, that too with the government approval, it said.

A joint venture of the Kerala government and Ministry of Railways, the state cabinet gave its go-ahead to the SHSR after thoroughly considering the feasibility study that has fully taken into account every minute aspect of the project, including the passenger potential and financial viability.

This study, which has found that social, economic and environmental benefits to be derived from the project are substantial, is under the Railway ministry's consideration.

Further studies and surveys are in progressing as part of the process of drawing up the Detailed Project Report (DPR), according to the release.

Seen as a game-changer in Keralas infrastructure and economic development, SHSR is to be implemented with minimum land acquisition.

A salient feature of the project is its total adherence to the green protocol, down to the last-minute detail.

Besides drastically cutting short the travel time, SHSR will considerably reduce atmospheric pollution caused by road traffic and also bring down road mishaps.

Trains on the track, which cuts through 11 districts, will run at a speed of 200 km per hour, covering the distance between the state capital, Thiruvanathapuram and Kasaragod by four hours.

Besides being a boon to all categories of passengers, the corridor will serve as a major line of freight transport, which is now mostly hauled by heavy, traffic-clogging and air-polluting trucks along the highways across the state.

The project also has many added environmental features such as the use of clean energy by tapping solar power in a big way, reuse of concrete and steel, use of low-emission construction equipment and promoting urban forestry programme.

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