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Alphons, Lohani discuss railway projects in Kerala

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Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani met Tourism Minister K J Alphons and discussed various railway projects in the minister’s home state, Kerala. Alphons requested Lohani to complete the construction of Sabari rail line, which was sanctioned in 1998. He proposed that the railways should fix a time-frame within which it should be completed and said that a company could be set up exclusively for the project.

Officials said Lohani assured the minister that he would look into the matter immediately. Alphons also raised the issue of setting up of another long-awaited project, the rail coach factory in Palakkad, which railway sources said could be shifted to Haryana. However, efforts were on to retain the INR 550-crore project in Kerala.

The minister also raised the issue of speeding up the doubling of Thiruvananthapuram-Mangalore railway tracks. Additionally, Alphons requested for modernisation of Kottayam, Changanacherry, Thiruvalla and Chengannur railway stations.

The minister will hold another meeting with the Railway Board soon to discuss the issue of running a ‘cleaner railway’, so that it could attract more tourists to India, the officials said.

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