Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told in the Rajya Sabha on Friday that the Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod semi-high speed rail project will be prepared in partnership with the Government of Kerala and the Railways. This semi high-speed rail project from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod in Kerala is 531 km long. Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) has been selected for the implementation of this project.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told the Rajya Sabha that the Government of Kerala will have a 51 percent stake and the Ministry of Railways will have a 49 percent stake in this joint venture company. Ashwini Vaishnav said that after the survey, KRDCL has prepared the detailed project report i.e. DPR. He said that the cost of this project has been estimated at Rs 63,941 crore. Further action on the project is dependent on techno-economic feasibility. Minister Vaishnaw said that the sources of funding for the project have not been decided yet.
At the same time, in reply to another question in the Rajya Sabha, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that on an average 13,555 trains operate in the country and 37 percent of these trains are operated by diesel locomotives. Whereas, the remaining 63 percent of the trains are operated by electric locomotives. The Railway Minister was asked whether it is true that most of the trains in the country are running on diesel and electricity. In response, the Railway Minister said that yes, on an average, 13,555 freight trains and passenger trains both run in Indian Railways. Of this, 63 percent and 37 percent of the vehicles are run by electric and diesel locomotives respectively.
Along with this, the government said in the Rajya Sabha that Wi-Fi services have been provided at 6071 railway stations across the country and about 97.25 terabytes of data is used there every month. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav gave this information to the Rajya Sabha in a written reply to a question. He said that Wi-Fi service at these stations is available free of cost to the general public for the first half an hour and after that, it is on a payment basis. He said that the provision of Wi-Fi at railway stations facilitates passengers to access the internet at stations and this facility is helping people to avail online services and information.