A sum of Rs 1300 crore has been allocated for Southern Railways for various Guage conversion and electrification projects and they were also going on as per schedule,a top Railway Board official said at Madurai on Sunday.

With Railway deciding to complete Uni-guage project in another four or five years, focus was in that direction, Board Chairman S S Khurana said, refuting reports that Tamil Nadu was being neglected in undertaking Broad gauge conversion works.

“We have started operating trains in Villupuram—Mayiladuthurai BG Section two days back. The work on Punalur—Quilon section is over and awaiting safety Commissioner’s final order. Similarly on the Villupuram—Vellore section Goods train trial services are going on. There is no neglect of Tamil Nadu,” he said.

Mayiladuthurai—Tiruvarur and Nellai—Tenkasi BG work would be completed this year.Work on Salem—Namakkal and Nagore—Karaikal was going on.Nagapattinam—Velankanni work also would be completed this year. Besides Chengalpattu—Villupuram Doubling project was also a Tamilnadu project, he said.

Electrification work upto Tiruchi was over and trains running in the section.Electrification of Tiruchi—Dindigul had been completed and trains operated from July. Between Dindigul and Madurai, electrification work would be over by September.

Madurai—Tuticorin electrification work would begin this year.

Escalators would be provided at all the important railway Stations, he told reporters.

Railways would get 1500 coaches each from ICF and RCF and two more plants were being set up for manufacturing coaches.

Speaking to reporters at Rameswaram later, he said the Pamban bridge would be strengthened to operate Goods Train.

Southern Railways General Manager Deepak Krishan said funds were not a constraint for new projects.

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