Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday, inaugurated India’s first solar energy-driven miniature train at Veli Tourist village.
The train will emerge as a tourist attraction, especially for children which was a part of a string of projects worth Rs 60 crore. It will help to promote the facilities at the panoramic destination up to the international standards.
An ‘Urban Park’ and a swimming pool was also dedicated by Vijayan which is located at the outskirts of the state capital where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea.
The solar-powered miniature rail has all the features of a fully-equipped rail system such s a tunnel, station as well as a ticket office.
The train has three bogies which can easily accommodate around 45 people at a time. Vijayan during his online address said, “The eco-friendly solar-powered 2.5 km miniature railway will enable visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature. The Rs ten crore project is the first of its kind in the country,” was quoted as saying by The Financial Express.
Artificial steam has also been spouted at the top in the engine which is modelled according to a vintage steam locomotive to give the visitors a nostalgic feel. Also, the station house was also designed according to the traditional style. The surplus energy generated by the system will be routed to the Kerala State Electricity Board’s grid, Vijayan said.
The Veli village will soon have a tourist facilitation centre, convention centre and an Art Cafe. The convention centre will have an art gallery and it will be equipped with digital display facility to feature major tourism and cultural centres of the state as well as an open-air theatre. The chief minister said that world class-facilities will impart a new look to Veli.
Tourism Minister Kadakampalluy Surendran, who was present during the event, said that the government had allotted around Rs 120 crore for the tourism sector of the state. Out of which, administrative sanction has been given to Rs 60 crore worth projects at Veli.
This showed the determination of the government to transform Veli into one of the most attractive destinations for tourists, he said. Amongst the projects at Veli, Rs 20 crore worth of works have been completed, and other schemes were progressing, he said. He also added that the tourist facilitation centre will be opened in January. The urban park has entailed a budget of Rs five crore and the swimming pool Rs 2.5 crore.