Thalassery-Mysuru rail line (Cost: 6685 Cr) is not only economically impractical,but also a death knell to cauvery

As per the reports in the media,Thalassery-Mysuru rail line has been approved by the Union Government at an estimated cost of Rs 5,052 crore.

The proposal was rejected several times before this on the grounds that it will ruin ecological balance of the green rich kodagu region. Rail line has to pass through Cauvery catchment area , which is the lifeline of Karnataka.

New proposed route DPR is for a 240-km-long rail line connecting Thalassery with Periyapattana in Karnataka through Wayanad.

As you can see the new proposed line has to pass through a lot of cauvery catchment area.

Economically impractical

 

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had asked the State government to rethink the proposed Thalassery-Mysuru railway project as it would not be beneficial to the State.

In its feasibility report, the DMRC said the project would benefit only the people of north Kerala beyond Kuttippuram railway station, while for the rest of the State from Parassala to Kuttippuram, the existing rail route would be more convenient.

As per reports in the Thehindu, The rail distance between Thalassery and Mysuru will be 206.51 km, of which the actual construction length will be 190.22 km. The present day estimated cost of the project is ₹5,538 crore, and by the time the project is completed, its cost will be ₹6,685 crore. The cost per km works out to be ₹32 crore.

The expenditure is high on account of the high land costs, long length of 53 km in the Ghats section and the need for a TBM tunnel (length of 11.45 km) to cross over the wildlife sanctuary of Karnataka.

The expected traffic on this line is very low in terms of passenger patronage and quantum of goods carried. As a result, the internal rate of return (IRR) on the project is negative. Even the social benefits reflected by the economic rate of return are also very low, about 6.65% only.

Communal tensions and internal security issues

In a letter to present Railway Minister CP Goyal, President of the Coorg Wildlife Society Col C P Muthanna also raised the possibility of internal security problems due to influx of migrants. Drawing attention to the communal clashes in 2015 during Tipu Jayanti, Col Muthanna said that a proposed railway line could turn Kodagu into a communal tinderbox since it borders communally sensitive districts in Kerala.

 

Opposition by MP Pratap Simha

 

Congress has remained silent on this issue, however BJP MP sh Pratap Simha has opposed this project citing it would be a death knell to the cauvery

 

 

There is also a change.org petition that has got over 25000 signatures so far. It is interesting to see if the project is stalled or would go as per the plan.

 

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