|Senior BJP leader and former Union Minister for Railways O. Rajgopal has claimed that a sum of ₹77.3 crore has been earmarked in the 2018-19 budget for the Phase I of the ambitious coaching terminal at Nemom.|
Mr. Rajgopal, who represents the Nemom constituency in the Assembly, disclosed this at a press conference convened here on Friday to detail the railway projects and works cleared for the Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad railway divisions in the budget.
The BJP leader said the ₹77.3-crore allocation is part of the ₹600-crore master plan prepared by Railways for developing Nemom as a coaching terminal after the BJP came to power at the Centre. The project, aimed at decongesting Thiruvananthapuram Central, had failed to take off despite the approval given when Lalu Prasad Yadav was the Union Railway Minister.
The coaching terminal has been proposed on 12.14 ha of land owned by Railways adjacent to the Nemom railway station.
Railways have proposed five stabling lines in the first phase at an estimated cost of ₹67 crore and had forwarded it to the Railway Board through Southern Railway for inclusion in the Works Programme 2018-19.
However, , Thiruvananthapuram Divisional Railway Manager Prakash Butani told The Hindu that the Pink Book had not indicated any allocation for the coaching terminal.
“But, Southern Railway can provide the money from the ₹300 crore allocated to the zone for soft upgrade/improvement of railway stations. The legislator has claimed that he has been informed and we will come to know of it only later,” he added.
The divisional railway authorities’ aim is to link it with the ₹1,552.94-crore doubling and electrification of the 86.56-km Thiruvananthapuram Central-Kanyakumari railway line that was kicked off recently.
Stabling lines can be used to shift the parked rakes from the Central station at Thampanooor and use them for train operations.
A dedicated line is needed from the Central station to the proposed stabling lines.