- A 10.7-km railway line, including a 9.02-km tunnel, has been proposed to connect the upcoming Vizhinjam International Multipurpose Deepwater Seaport to the railway network.
- The 9.02-km tunnel, mooted by Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd (KRCL) from near the Balaramapuram station on the Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthapuram railway line, will be the second longest railway tunnel in the country.
- The KRCL, in its draft Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted to Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL) — a special purpose company supervising the execution of the seaport project — has favoured the railway tunnel from Balaramapuram in view of the 35-metre level difference between the port and the highest ground level, undulating terrain, and local population.
The government has decided to set up a high-level committee to look into the DPR submitted by the KRCL, official sources told The Hindu on Thursday. Fine-tuning of the alignment will be taken up after the evaluation.
The KRCL, experts in constructing tunnels, was roped in after Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd under the Union Ministry of Railways backed out from the seaport connectivity project.
The plan is to establish the railway link by May 2022.