Train via Kodagu Scrapped

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to make official announcement in Parliament tomorrow

New Delhi/Mysuru: The controversial Railway Line between Thalassery in Kerala to Mysuru via South Kodagu has been scrapped. An official announcement in this regard will be made in the Parliament tomorrow by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.

The Union Government will not take up any project that is harmful to the environment and the Thalassery-Mysuru project is one such plan where lakhs of trees will be cut in Kodagu, destroying the eco-sensitive district, said Piyush Goyal last evening. He was meeting a delegation from Kodagu led by K.M. Chinnappa, a forest officer (now retired) known for his conservation activities.

The Minister told the delegation that he understands the gravity of the situation and has studied the environmental impact. “We will not take up the project,” the Minister assured the delegation.

Speaking to Star of Mysore over phone regarding his meeting with Piyush Goyal, Thamoo Poovaiah of Kodagu Ekikarana Ranga, who was a part of the delegation, he said that the Minister told them that there was a timber lobby in Kerala that was pushing the project. Even some influential politicians in Karnataka and Kerala were in favour of the project.

“The Minister revealed that an MP has raised a question in the Parliament about when Thalassery-Mysuru Railway Line will be implemented. He told us that he (Piyush Goyal) would reply to the MP tomorrow that the Centre would not take up the environmentally destructive project,” Thamoo said.

Further, he said that Union Minister H.N. Ananth Kumar had helped the delegation to meet the Railway Minister. “We met Ananth Kumar at 2.30 pm yesterday and he took us to the Railway Minister at 4 pm. Piyush Goyal was very clear in his approach and told us that the lobby was working to get the project implemented since 1962 under all Railway Ministers,” he said.

Ananth Kumar told us that the Railway Ministry has prepared a detailed reply to the question that has been raised by the MP. “We have even met the Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani and he has said that he will follow the directions of the Minister,” he added.

Praveen Bhargav and H.N.A. Prasad of Wildlife First also were part of the delegation.

 

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