Letter to Union Minister of Railways

Dear Suresh Prabhuji,

Kerala contributes significantly to the revenue of Indian Railways. Balanced growth of all States and Union Territories is essential for the harmonious development of Indian Economy having a federal political structure. However, the condition of railways in the State presents a gory picture. The work on doubling of rail lines from Thiruvalla to Ettumanoor is off the track because of bureaucratic delays and slow pace of work. The line doubling works along the Ernakulam-Alappuzha stretch via Kayamkulam are yet to be completed owing to the heavy paucity of funds. The fate of the Changanassery-Ettumanoor stretch via Kottayam is not different. Same is the case with the electrification of Cheruvathur-Mangalore stretch in the Shornur-Mangalore rail lane. With every passing year, the estimated cost of the projects are set to increase. The railway is not in a position to fix a deadline for the long pending line doubling works. The doubling is crucial to ensure faster movement of trains through both the routes.

The surveys on most of the proposed lines, which found a mention on the budgets, are yet to begin or attain completion. The surveys of the Chengannur-Thiruvananthapuram railway line via Adoor-Kottarakkara have been completed and is in pending for some time to get the approval from the railway board. Railways have to take a call on the proposed Guruvayur-Tirunavaya rail line where survey has been completed. The gauge conversion in the Punalur-Chenkotta rail line needs to gain momentum. I request you to give direction to accelerate the work of Cochin Harbor Terminus and help us to obtain the clearance from the Ministry of Defense for the electrification of this rail line.

The problem of old and rickety coaches is yet another area of concern. In fact, the poor condition has resulted in many accidents due to which the lives of passengers are put at a very high risk. Recently there was a major rail accident near Angamaly where four coaches were derailed due to human error and the poor condition of the railway lines. I take this opportunity to request your intervention to ensure better and serviceable coaches including the new generation LHB coaches and a specific quota allocation from the new set of coaches being manufactured at railways coach manufacturing units. The promises to develop railway stations like Ernakulam Junction Station and the Thiruvananthapuram Central Station into world class hubs remain as lip service because of lack of proper budgetary allocations. Railway Ministrys proposal to develop Nemom as second satellite passenger terminal to Thiruvananthapuram Central due to its infrastructure limitations is also pending. This is of utmost importance since in future a new rail line is expected to connect Nemom with Vizhinjam International Seaport as well as Nemom can act as a hub for Memu trains connecting Thiruvananthapuram with other parts. The proposal for the formation of a Peninsular Railway Zone comprising Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Konkan Railway Divisions have been ignored for a long time.

Government of Kerala is committed to provide our whole hearted support to all initiatives of Indian Railways. This is evident from the very fact that we have signed an agreement with your Ministry for a Joint Venture. Soliciting your personal intervention and necessary action.

With regards,

Yours sincerely

Pinarayi Vijayan

Sri. Suresh Prabhu
Minister of Railways,
Government of India,
239, Ministry of Railways,
Rail Bhawan, New Delhi-110 001.