The Erode-Dharapuram-Palani Railway Extension Citizens Committee has requested the State Government to expedite the land acquisition to facilitate the laying of Erode-Palani railway line via Dharapuram in Tirupur district at the earliest.

“The process of acquiring land for the 91-km long project should be carried out on a war footing failing which it could get delayed for many more years as the Assembly elections are approaching fast,” Citizens Committee general secretary Lingam Chinnasamy told The Hindu. According to him, a special Tahsildar should be appointed immediately to supervise the land acquisition process. Providing hope to the long-pending demand for the new route, the Central Government allocated Rs. 40 crore towards the project in the 2010-11 Budget.

The total project cost was estimated at around Rs. 500 crore. According to Mr. Lingam Chinnasamy, the State Government should come forward with their contribution for the project like how the Karnataka Government had expressed their willingness to offset the costs of railway projects planned for the State on a 50:50 sharing basis.

“The Karnataka Government has written to the Railway Ministry expressing their consent to allocate as much as Rs. 2,500 crore towards the implementation of schemes to improve railway network in that State,” he pointed out.

The panel also urged opening of an office of Assistant Engineer by the Railways at Erode and Palani.

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