In order to ensure the safekeep of grains which arrive from Orissa and Andhra ports, a modernised FCI godown will be set up at Willingdon island, which is being developed as a storage hub. It will be then transported through the existing rail lines, said Union Minister K V Thomas.
“Two shiploads of food grains brought to the Kochi Port can be transported using 40 rakes. Once the new Venduruthy rail line is commissioned, the capacity of freight transport in Kochi will increase many fold,” the Minister said. He was speaking at the commissioning of an escalator at the Ernakulam Junction station on Monday. The station has become the first railway station in the state to boast of this facility.
The Railways have sanctioned thirty escalators and 15 railway stations in the state as part of its modernising plans.
A total of Rs 3.58 crore has been sanctioned for installing three more escalators and passenger lifts across all platforms in Ernakulam Junction Station. The work on the escalator at the Ernakulam Town station will begin within one month’s time. The cost of two escalators and one passenger lift has been estimated at Rs 1.87 crore. One escalator and two passenger lifts have been sanctioned for the Aluva railway station, Railway DRM Rajesh Agarwal said. Tenders have already been floated for the purpose.
“The stations in Ernakulam have enormous potential. For example, the old railway station and the Willingdon island station are historically important. Talks are being held with the Railways for the development of these stations. Meanwhile, the suburban stations at Kalamassery, Thrippunithura and Edappally will be developed prior to the commissioning of the metro service in Kochi,” K V Thomas said.
Dominic Presentation MLA urged the Railways to take immediate steps to develop the potential of the stations in West Kochi.
P Rajeeve MP said that Guruvayoor-Punaloor fast passenger train has been sanctioned a halt at the Thrippunithura railway station.
Hibi Eden MLA said that the GCDA has set aside Rs 1 crore from the Asset Development Fund. He inaugurated a high-mast lamp set up at a cost of Rs 5.5 lakh using the MLA fund.
Deputy Mayor B Bhadra urged the local representatives to help fund the construction of a modern ladies comfort room at the station. Charles Dias MP wanted an increase in the number of coaches for passenger trains. Benny Behanan MLA, Councillor Gracy Joseph, Ernakulam Railway area manager Rajesh Agarwal and other officials were also present.