Friday, Oct 03, 2003
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By S. Vydhianathan
The 3.09 km-long railway line till now was used by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Perambur, for moving newly built coaches from shell to furnishing division of the factory.
Now the line is strengthened at a cost of Rs 7.29 crores for operating passenger services. In the process two new stations namely Anna Nagar and Padi, were built and 13 existing bridges were renovated. Unlike other suburban services, there is only one line limiting the operation to five pairs of EMU services between Chennai Beach and Anna Nagar. Depending on the passenger response, more services would be operated, according to railway officials. But the major problem for the railways as well as the State Government would be the possible traffic congestion resulting due to closure of a gate near the new Padi station.
Even now traffic goes haywire during peak hours. There were occasions when it took more than two hours for the traffic congestion to clear. The situation could worsen now owing to gate closure at frequent intervals.
The railway administration hopes that the State Government would clear the Railway Ministry's proposal for constructing a railway overbridge (ROB) in lieu of the level crossing gate near the Padi station.
Inaugurating the new railway station and EMU services, the Union Minister of State for Railways, A.K.Moorthy, said the Ministry was ready to construct a railway overbridge if the State Government came forward to share the cost. He said soon MRTS services would be extended from Tirumailai to Tiruvanmiyur as the Commissioner of Railway Safety had cleared the line for passenger traffic. Earlier, C.Kuppusami , MP and D.Napoleon, MLA, said that they would be forced to launch an agitation if the State Government did not come forward to construct ROBs to replace the existing level crossings. They blamed the State Government for not responding to their long pending demand of constructing the ROBs.
The Southern Railway General Manager, V.Anand, said the new EMU services would provide additional transport facilities to commuters in the city. The Southern Railway Principal Chief Engineer, R.Sundararajan, said the new line was renovated in a record time of five months.
The ICF General Manager, M.V.Ramani, assured that his organisation would give a state of the art coach for operating the service on the new line.
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