|Doubling of the of 86.56-km Thiruvananthapuram Central- Kanyakumari rail line will begin on January 23 with Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain laying the stone for the same.|
Doubling of the 160-km stretch from Madurai Junction to Thoothukudi and the 102-km line from Vanchi Maniyachi to Nagercoil Junction will also be taken up simultaneously.
“We have received communication about the laying of the foundation stone for the doubling at Nagercoil Junction on January 23,” Divisional Railway Manager, Thiruvananthapuram, Prakash Bhutani told The Hindu.
The Thiruvananthapuram- Kanyakumari doubling works, at an estimate of ₹1,431.90 crore, will be under the supervision of the Chief Administrative Officer (Construction), Ernakulam, and the other two corridors will be executed under Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL).
Works on the Madurai Junction- Thoothukudi stretch will cost ₹ 1,272 crore and the Vanchi Maniyachi- Nagercoil Junction stretch ₹ 1,114.62 crore.
“The alignment has been finalised. The work is being taken up with March 2022 as target. Work for bridges and earthwork on the 5.5-km Nagercoil- Kanyakumari section has been awarded,” an official at the construction wing said.
He said Railways had land in the 24 km Eraniel-Nagercoil section. Bids could be floated for works in the 47-km Eraniel-Thiruvananthapuram Central corridor only after Tamil Nadu and Kerala handed over land.
“The utility has decided to concentrate on the Kanyakumari-Nagercoil and Thiruvananthapuram-Nemom sections,” he said. A proposal for land acquisition had been submitted to the State and to the District Collectors concerned.
In the Thiruvananthapuram Central-Nemom section, land will be taken mostly from the left side of the existing line. From Nemom to Parassala, land will be taken from the right side. There are five tunnels, including the ones at Balaramapuram, Parassala, Kuzhithurai, and Palliyadi, on the 86.56 km stretch.
The doubling works got the nod of the Cabinet Subcommittee on Economic Affairs in August 2017. The double line will help Railways operate more trains via Nagercoil Junction and Madurai Junction. The doubling is also needed for laying the rail connectivity to the upcoming Vizhinjam seaport.