The Mayiladuthurai-Tharangambadi Rail Restoration Committee has made a strong plea the Minister of Railways to include the Mayiladuthurai-Karaikal railway line project via Tirukkadaiyur, Tharangambadi and Thirunallar in the railway budget 2013-14.

In a memorandum to Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, its convenor Arupathy P.Kalyanam said the Mayiladuthurai-Tharangambadi railway line served the people residing in the tail-end of Cauvery delta for more than 60 years from 1926 till it was closed in 1987.

Considering the long-pending demand of the Cauvery delta people to restore the Mayiladuthurai-Tharangambadi line (30 km), the Railway Ministry ordered for a survey in 2005-06 with further extension of this line to Karaikal via Thirunallar to a total length of 47.3 km.

The survey was completed in 2006-07 and the project cost was then estimated at Rs.114.57 crore.

Owing to delay in sanctioning the project, a reassessment was done in 2010-11 and the cost increased to Rs.175 crore, he said.

Despite the survey, the project was not included in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 railway budgets.

The railway ministry should seriously consider including the route in the railway budget as it would provide links to Nagore, Nagapattinam, and Velankanni. There were ancient shrines in this route including the famous Siva temple at Tirukkadaiyur .

Further the route connects Mayiladuthurai, the divisional headquarters with Sembanarkoil, a block headquarter and Tharangambadi – a taluk headquarter, making it economically viable.

As land was already available with the railways, the Railway Ministry could take up the Mayiladuthurai – Tharangambadi stretch in the first phase by allotting Rs.60 crore for this purpose and take up the remaining 17.3 km stretch from Tharangambadi to Karaikal via Thirunallur for which land acquisition was needed, Mr. Kalyanam said.

The committee has requested Union Ministers and Members of Parliament from Tamil Nadu, Railway Board and Southern Railway authorities to take up the issue and get the project sanctioned in the 2013-14 railway budget.

The committee members staged a demonstration in front of the Mayiladuthurai railway junction on Monday urging Mr.Bansal to include the project in the forthcoming railway budget.