Kerala finally got in this year’s railway budget what was promised 55 years ago -- the Thalasserry-Mysore line. This line connects Kerala with Karnataka and touches tourist destination Coorg.
Of the 68 new trains announced in Friday’s railway budget, poll-bound Kerala got 12, and out of the four passenger terminals, it got two (Kottayam and Nemom in Thiruvananthapuram).
For track doubling, electrification and other infrastructural work, enough funds have been allocated.
Besides, surveys would be conducted for five new rail projects including the Thalasserry-Mysore line.
Mamataa Banerjee has also assured that enough funds would be allocated to the Palakkad coach factory and Cherthala wagon repair unit, announced in last year’s budget.
Besides renewing the pending Sabari project connecting the famous hill shrine Sabarimala, eight stations would be renovated.
Chief minister VS Achuthanandan said: “Our main demand for a railway zone wasn’t met.”
Former railway minister and BJP leader O Rajagopal also shared his views. “It is a populist budget with an eye on the upcoming assembly elections. Sops are many but how can you mobilise funds for this,” he asked.
However, former CM and opposition leader Oommen Chandy termed it the best rail budget in recent times. “I am really happy the minister has shown some ‘mamata’ (care) towards the state,” he said. "I think in recent years it is the best budget for the state."