The Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS) proposed for the 125.65-km stretch between Thiruvananthapuram and Chengannur is likely to be the first project to be executed on cost-sharing basis between the State and Railways. The RRTS has been mooted to make travel hassle-free for short-distance commuters, overcome the inability to introduce additional trains in the busy corridor with the existing rail infrastructure, and lessen road congestion.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) being worked out for the cost-sharing of the new railway projects to be executed in the State will cover the RRTS also.
The MoU, drafted by the Transport Department after scrutiny of the Finance Department, is being vetted by the Law Department, official sources said.
Once the MoU is cleared by the State government, the Railway Board should give its approval. Although Railways had proposed 50:50 cost-sharing for the projects to be executed in the new mode, they want the State to meet 76 per cent of the cost of the RRTS, an initiative of the State government.
The detailed project report (DPR) has reached the office of the Prime Minister’s Office. The RRTS is to figure in a meeting of MPs called by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in New Delhi on December 9.
The DPR, prepared by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) and approved by the government last year, has projected the cost at Rs.3,330.78 crore. The MRVC has found that the RRTS is cost-effective, and requires only an upgrade of the existing railway network. Besides, the corridor can emerge as a continuous urban segment.
Of the estimated cost, Rs.1,200 crore is needed for rolling stock, Rs.1,025 crore for civil work, Rs.554.46 crore for signalling and telecom, Rs.172 crore for electrical work, and the remaining for other expenses.
The RRTS will see the railway line divided into a series of sections of one km, and the average speed will be 57 kmph.
The minimum fare recommended in the RRTS is Rs.10 with a price range of 80 paise to Rs.2 per km.
RRTS Project Director Tomy Cyriac told The Hindu that efforts are on get the MoU approved and to approach Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu after the meeting of the MPs.
Detailed project report says system is cost-effective and requires only an upgrade of the existing railway network.
MoU being vetted by the Law Department
Detailed project report says system is cost-effective and requires only an upgrade of the existing railway network