Joseph to launch 'yatra' to press for high-speed train

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Mumbai, Jan 11 (UNI) In order to press his demand for starting a high-speed passenger corridor between Mumbai and Thiruvanthapuram, former Kerala minister and Kerala Congress president P J Joseph said he will carry out a ''jattha yatra'' from Mumbai to Kanyakumari.

''At present, it takes about 24 to 48 hours to travel a distance of 1620 kms between Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram. If the Government starts a similar high-speed passneger corrodor between the two imporatnt destinations of West and South India, the journey time will be reduced by almost one-fifth. To press this demand, I will take out a Jattha from Mumbai to Kanyakumari,'' Mr Jospeh told reporters today.

The ''jattha'' will start from Mumbai's Hutatma Chowk tomorrow and will traverse through Thane, Pune, Konkan before culminating at Kanyakumari on January 31.

According to him, 40 Members of Parliament cutting across party affliations have already submitted a signed memorandum to the Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad in this regard.

A high-speed bullet train running at a maximum speed of 300 km and an average speed of 200 km per hour can cover the distance between Mumbai and Kanyakumari in just 8 hours, and the time required to travel between Thiruvanthapuram and Delhi would be 15 hours, and will save lot of time and money of the passengers, he said.

''We have also discussed the proposal with the Managing Director of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation E Sridharan, and in his views also the project is very much feasible,'' Mr Joseph said.

The former minister also said the same corridor could be extended to Delhi and subsequently to Srinagar to provide a better rail connectivity between the two extremes of the country.

''We have also taken up the matter with the Prime Minister who assured us that a techno-economic feasibility of the project would be carried out,'' Congress MP P C Thomas said while addressing the media along with Mr Joseph.


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