Providing a ray of hope to the long-pending demand for a new railway route connecting Erode with Palani via Dharapuram, Kangayam in Tirupur district, the Central government has earmarked Rs.40 crore for this fiscal (2010-11) for the project.

Divisional Railway Manager P.N. Ram told The Hindu that the amount would be utilised for land acquisition and commencement of work.

Though surveys of the estimated Rs.500-crore project was completed at an outlay of Rs.2.78 crore a few years ago, the scheme did not move further owing to lack of any fresh allocation in the last four fiscals.

Office-bearers of Erode-Dharapuram-Palani Railway Extension Citizens Committee, which had been fighting for long to bring the project to the light, had met senior railway officials including Chief Administrative Officer (construction) at the office of Southern Railways General Manager in Chennai on Monday in an attempt to expedite the 91-km-long line planned in the sector.

Citizens Committee general secretary Lingam Chinnasamy said that the forum had appealed for smooth coordination between the different stakeholders involved in the land acquisition process so that the exercise could be completed this financial year itself.

“Completion of acquisition well before the fiscal year-end will enable the Ministry to earmark next allocation in the coming fiscal itself thereby avoiding any further delays,” he said.

The Citizens Committee had also submitted memoranda to the Collectors in Tirupur, Erode and Dindigul districts to ensure smooth transfer of poromboke land to the Railways for the laying of the line.

The new line is expected to set up a tourism circuit connecting historic temples in Chennimalai, Palani and provide better connectivity to Kodaikanal.

Keywords: railway routeErodePalani