Controversial Thalassery-Mysuru Railway Line: Kerala’s hopes dashed as Budget makes no mention of Rail Project
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Controversial Thalassery-Mysuru Railway Line: Kerala’s hopes dashed as Budget makes no mention of Rail Project

February 2, 2018

New Delhi: Here is some good news for Green Groups and residents of Kodagu as the Union government has not mentioned anything in the 2018-2019 Budget about the controversial Thalassery-Mysuru Railway Line via Manandavadi and South Kodagu. But environmental groups are not in any way relenting from the protests against the Railway line that will spell a doom for the ecologically-sensitive Kodagu and its water sources.

The Railway line did not feature in the combined Union Budget and Railway Budget that was presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Parliament yesterday. Earlier reports, especially from Kerala, said that expectations were running high for the newly-proposed Thalassery-Mysuru Railway ahead of the presentation of the Budget.

Reports said that the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL), tasked with a physical survey, has submitted its report to the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDL), with a positive feedback that the project is “eco-friendly and feasible”. The KRDL, a joint venture company of the Kerala State government and the Railways with 51:49 equity partnerships, aims to develop Railway infrastructure in Kerala.

Sources said the Ministry of Railways had high hopes that the project would get allocations in the last full-fledged Budget of Narendra Modi government. The cost of the project has been pegged at between Rs. 4,000 crore and Rs. 5,000 crore.

Reports from Kerala said that the proposed Railway line that will pass through Koothuparamba, Manandavadi, Thalassery, Kutta, Kanoor, Balele and Thithimathi, to reach Mysuru is not only eco-friendly but also gives weightage to precautionary measures in case of landslides and related disasters.

One of the worrying factors for the new proposal was getting a smooth gradient. Otherwise a double engine would have to be used to tackle the inclination, the reports said. Almost 90% of the forest area would be protected with the construction of tunnels. The eco-friendly measure  suggested by the Malabar Mysuru Rail Road Action Council have been accepted with respect to the route passing through Karnataka.

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Mandatory environmental clearances have to be secured from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and finally recommendations from the National Board for Wildlife, chaired by the Prime Minister, and also the Supreme Court.

The revised proposal has been worked out after the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in its report submitted to the State government earlier had said that the proposed Thalassery-Mysuru Railway Project excluding Wayanad would not be beneficial to Kerala. Now a new Station at Periyapatna would be included in the route as a link to the proposed Mysuru-Kushalnagar Railway line, the reports said.

Protests to continue

Meanwhile, the protests planned by environmental groups led by Coorg Wildlife Society President and Coordinator of Save Kodagu and Cauvery Campaign Colonel (retired) C.P. Muthanna will continue. A massive protest has been planned in Mysuru on Feb. 18 at J.K. Grounds to draw the attention of the authorities towards the destruction the Railway line will cause to Kodagu.

Speaking to Star of Mysore, Col. Muthanna said that though the project has not found a mention in the Budget, it might be sanctioned at a later stage. “The Kerala government is hell-bent on implementing the project and they are not going to leave it at this. They will surely pressurise the Karnataka and the Union Governments to sanction and implement the project. We want to prevent this from happening as it is the question of survival for us,” he said.

“The Kerala Government is already pulling all stops to ensure that the project becomes a reality at the expense of Kodagu, its greenery and water sources. And as if to support Kerala’s intentions, the South Western Railway (National Railway Development Project) too is constructing a huge building at Stone Hill in Madikeri. All these show that the project is in the pipeline,” he said.

READ ALSO  Kodagu residents raise voice against destructive projects

He added that all steps, including moving the Courts and National Green Tribunal, will be taken to prevent the project from destroying Kodagu.

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Controversial Thalassery-Mysuru Railway Line: Kerala’s hopes dashed as Budget makes no mention of Rail Project”

  1. iyer says:

    good to hear

  2. Satya says:

    This project should never take place, The area of Forestry has given lot of valuable plants (Sandalwood ) and other part has Tiger Movements, Once Tiger is misplaced , Forest will die. The tiger is a unique animal which plays a pivotal role in the health and diversity of an ecosystem. It is a top predator which is at the apex of the food chain and keeps the population of wild ungulates in check, thereby maintaining the balance between prey herbivores and the vegetation upon which they feed.

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