‘Absence of announcement on direct train service from Coimbatore to Bangalore/Mysore, a major letdown’

Railway users in the region have expressed disappointment over the first Railway Budget of the Narendra Modi-led Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) Government. Even as no new services were announced for the Western districts, railway officials, however, said that the Budget imparted a major boost for several other aspects.

While the lack of announcement of a direct train service from Coimbatore to Bangalore/Mysore was a major let-down, the Budget had little for the entire State, said R. Raveendran, convenor of Coimbatore Railway Struggle Committee.

Even the few services that were announced for Tamil Nadu such as the weekly train from Chennai-Ahmedabad (via Vasai road) and Chennai-Vizag weekly train were earlier operated as special trains.

He also reiterated the demand for doubling the Coimbatore - Mettupalayam line and improving facilities in Mettupalayam.

Bridges

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and former Coimbatore MP, P.R. Natarajan said that five road-over-bridges in Coimbatore were pending.

The State Government had already identified the land for acquisition in several of these projects, which were held up only for want of funds. These projects should be expedited.

However, Mr. Raveendran welcomed the allocation of Rs. 80 crore for Dindigul-Pollachi-Palakkad/Coimbatore gauge conversion project and expressed hope that it will be completed by 2015. The Coimbatore Station subway project had also got Rs. 1 crore for further expansion and completion of remaining works, he noted. Funds had also been allocated for Coimbatore North-Mettupalayam electrification project which was in its final stages.

Funds allotted

Shubhranshu, Divisional Railway Manager of Salem Railway Division, said that a large fund allocation was made in the Budget for enhancing safety and cleanliness.

“A sum of Rs. 1,785 crore was allotted to Indian Railways for road-over-bridges (ROBs) and road-under-bridges (RUBs). The funds would be utilised for constructing the 57 RUBs which were sanctioned earlier.”

Refuting the charges that funds have not been allocated for ongoing projects, he said that they would be done in a separate allocation process. The State Government also shared the expenditure for ROBs.

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