New Delhi: Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal wrote to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday stating that the state government lacked cooperation on Angamali-Sabarimala new line project.
“This is to bring to your kind attention the lack of co-operation on the part of Kerala state government on the important issue of the Sabarimala new line project,” read the letter.
“This project was included in Railway Budget 1997-98 at a cost of Rs 550 crore. Against this, part estimate for long-lead items amounting to Rs 517.70 crore including Rs 58.76 crore as the land cost of the entire project, was sanctioned in May 2006.”
“Consequently, in this project, work on Angamali-Kaladi (7 km) and long leas work on Kaladi-Perumbavoor (10 km) have been taken up. However, further works on this project could not be taken forward due to protests by local people against the project and non-cooperation from the State Government of Kerala.”
“This has badly the execution of the above project and as a result, project cost has increased exponentially from Rs 550 crore in 1997 to Rs 1,566 crore including land cost of Rs 719 crore in 2011 and further, Rs 2,815 crore (including land cost of Rs 965 crore) in 2017,” he said.
The Government of India had requested the Government of Kerala vide letters of even number dated 06.09.2011, 22.12.2011, and 08.10.2012 to share at least 50 per cent cost of the project, which the state government had agreed.
“Unfortunately. within a year, the state government vide letter No. 667/16/CM dated 15.11.2016 withdrew their own consent to share 50 percent of the project. This sudden change in policy was surprising and against the interest of developing Railways in Kerala, and brought into question the state government’s commitment to this important project,” Minister Goyal wrote.