“Services to be operated first if there is delay in holding inaugural function”

The date of inauguration of the newly converted Villupuram–Mayiladuthurai broad gauge line will be announced soon, said Southern Railway General Manager Deepak Krishan here on Tuesday.

Addressing newspersons here, he said some minor works – linking of lines – were pending at Mayiladuthurai and Cuddalore junctions, which would be completed in one or two days.

The administration has asked the Railway Board to give dates for the inauguration. If there was delay in fixing the inaugural function, the zone planned to run train services first and organise a function later.

Regarding the new Villupuram–Katpadi BG line, he said the Commissioner of Railway Safety had pointed out some deviations from standards. These were being set right.

Later, the General Manager inaugurated 55{+t}{+h} Railway Week celebrations and distributed awards to 162 employees, group awards to 11 and efficiency shields to 33, including the overall efficiency award to the Salem division.

During last financial year, the zone earned Rs.101.9 crore more than the previous year. The revenue was Rs.4,426 crore during 2009-10 with Rs.2,149 crore from passenger traffic and Rs.1,879 crore from freight traffic. The zone recorded the best ever originating load of 35.64 million tonnes, surpassing the previous best of 33.75 million tonnes, in 2008-09.

During the current year it planned to complete 283 km of gauge conversion, 51 km of new line and 118 km of doubling.

The zone, as a trial measure, was installing two windmills, one each in Tiruchi and Palghat divisions. Power generated from them would be utilised for railway purpose. It would be linked to the State grid and whenever the zone was not drawing power from the wind mills it would be fed to the link, he added.