Kerala has reached out to Karnataka Government to extend the proposed 430-km high-speed railway (HSR) line between Trivandrum and Kannur to Mangalore. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to the Karnataka government seeking its cooperation for extending the HSR.

Through the extension, the government intends to include the backwards district of Kasaragod in the HSR and provide a south-to-north high-speed rail corridor.

The mammoth project which cost at least Rs 1,27,849 crore is aimed at making travel hassle-free and reducing congestion on State roads. By extending the HSR line to Mangaluru via Kasaragod will result in the project cost going up. However, by Roping in the Karnataka government, the State is trying to finance the HSR beyond the borders of Kerala as it will benefit Karnataka.

A survey conducted by Kerala High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (KHSRCL), (the government-owned company to execute the project), in 11 districts and 110 Assembly constituencies has found that 86% of the participants supported the project. The survey was carried out by the Gurgaon-based Centre for Forecasting & Research (Cfore) between November 23, 2016, and January 14 this year.

However, as much as 1,155.57 hectares of private land has to be acquired, 3,868 residential/commercial structures relocated, and 36,923 trees felled as per the DPR prepared by the DMRC.

The detailed project report (DPR) prepared by the DMRC and approved by the State is to be submitted to the Union government for mandatory approval.