Coimbatore Railway Passengers Association says it's viable

Nine arterial roads reach out to different areas in this thickly populated and growing city. But, these stretches remain congested because of inadequate link roads. Even as the demand for link roads is being made consistently, the other option is to have a rail network that can reduce the burden on city roads.

A circular rail network and shuttle train services are being suggested whenever the city's chaotic roads come up for discussion. The Coimbatore Railway Passengers Association has come up with a suggestion for reviving a small stretch of railway line that could make the much awaited circular rail a reality.

N.V. Nagasubramanian, President, and S. Vaidyanathakrishnan, Secretary of the Association suggest that the Vellalore link – between the old Singanallur station and Coimbatore Junction – can be revived. It had existed up to 1952, till the laying of single line between Coimbatore and Irugur. The first unopposed MP of Coimbatore in the first Parliament T.A. Ramalingam Chettiar was instrumental in getting the first single line laid between Coimbatore and Irugur and after which the Vellalore link was unused and later removed.

Relaying the Vellalore line between Singanallur and Coimbatore Junction will not involve a huge financial burden, the association claims. As the land on which the railway line was then laid still remain unused, there will be no expense on land acquisition. They also say the people of Coimbatore should oppose the move of the Railways to lay a second line between Podanur and Irugur as this may lead to more trains skipping Coimbatore Junction.

The encroached railway lands on either side of the erstwhile track i.e., the Vellalore line, can be retrieved and a new railway terminal can be constructed closer to the city. Links from here can be established with both Coimbatore and Podanur stations.

The circular railway line will help run through Coimbatore Junction, Podanur, Vellalore, Irugur, Singanallur, Peelamedu and Coimbatore North (see map). This will certainly help decongest the city roads, Mohammed Jameel of the association points out. A senior official with the Salem division says if the revival of an old line can bring about so many benefits, it can be considered.

More In: Coimbatore