The Kerala government has recently sanctioned a semi high-speed rail project in the state to boost connectivity between the north and south districts. The project will be developed at an estimated cost of Rs 66,079 crore and is expected to start its operations by 2024.
According to a senior government official, the 532 km project will start from the Kasaragod and end at the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram. The whole project will be developed by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), which is a joint venture of Government of Kerala and Ministry of Railways.
Elaborating more on the above, V Ajith Kumar, Managing Director, KRDCL said, “The semi-high speed rail will run at the speed of 200 km/h and would have 9 coaches in the beginning. However, these coaches will later be increased to 12.”
Talking about the ticket price, he said that in the beginning, we have kept it Rs 2.75 per km but then every year it will be hiked by 7.5 percent.
Of the total Rs 66,079 crore, the state government will take a loan of Rs 34,450, while Rs 7,720 each will be pooled by both the central and the state government. The rest amount of Rs 8,656 crore has been set aside for land acquisition.
The official further informed that once the semi high-speed rail project will become operational, the distance between the north and south districts i.e. Kasargod and Thiruvananthapuram will be reduced to 4 hours. Currently, it takes around 12 hours to reach from one part to another.
Not only traffic and pollution, but the rail project will also reduce dependence of the state on the imported oil.