Members of the struggle committee demanding speedy execution of Madurai-Bodi gauge conversion work took out a vehicle procession from Periyakulam to Madurai and presented a memorandum to the railway officials here on Monday.

The members, led by the Periyakulam MLA, A. Lazar, deplored the poor allocation of funds for the project sanctioned in 2010.

While the original project estimate was Rs.180 crore, the railway administration had allotted only Rs.15 crore in 2011-12 and Rs.2 crore in 2012-13.

“The cost of the project has escalated to Rs. 272.77 crore. The metre gauge line was closed in 2011 and it was said then that the project will be completed by 2015. But, at this rate of budgetary allocation it will take another 50 years for completion of the project,” the Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA said. The Bodi-Madurai Broad Gauge Project Works Speedy Action Committee members along with a few MPs from the southern districts met the Prime Minister and Union Railway Minister and pressed for executing the project at the earliest.

“People of the district are angry about the railway administration not showing interest in executing the project,” Mr. Lazar, who is the president of the struggle committee, said. Stating that if adequate funds were not allotted for the project in the winter session of the Parliament, he said the struggle committee would be forced to indulge in a rail roko protest. Committee secretary, P.C. Rajendran, and Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants’ Association, S.P. Jeyaprakasam, took part.

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