Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan demanded the Railway Ministry to withdraw from the move to bifurcate the Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram Railway Divisions and form new ones.
In a statement here on Tuesday, Achuthanandan said that during the tenure of the first UPA Govt, the Palakkad Division was bifurcated for the vested interest of Tamil Nadu. Palakkad Division, which was having a stretch of 1,133 km, was divided and now the distance is merely 575 km.
Again there are moves to further reduce the area of Palakkad Division from Manjeshwaram to Kankanadi to form the Mysore Division. With the formation of the new Division, there will be 75 per cent decrease in the revenue from goods transportation in Palakkad Division, he said.
Following this, the Palakkad Division will plunge into loss and then it will be abandoned in future. There are also moves to form a new Thirunelveli Division with the inclusion of lines from Neyyatinkara to Thirunelveli.
The jurisdiction of Thiruvananthapuram Division is from Thirunelveli to Cheruthuruthy Vallathol Nagar having 625 km. If the proposed Thirunelveli Division materialises, it will be a great threat to the existence of T’Puram Division. When Palakkad Division was bifurcated to form the Salem Division, the Railways promised a special development package for Kerala. It was announced in the Parliament that a Railway Coach Factory will come up in Palakkad at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore. Achuthanandan said that during the LDF rule, the government had allotted land for the coach factory.
During the Piravom by-election the foundation-stone laying ceremony was held to woo the voters and further action was not taken till now. The State Govt had signed an MoU with the Railways for setting up a wagon manufacturing unit with the support of Autokast in Cherthala. Now the Railways had withdrawn from the project, he alleged.