Special Correspondent

They flay delay in gauge conversion; work may be completed by December 2008

NAGAPATTINAM: Shopkeepers downed their shutters in Mayiladuturai, Sirkazhi, Kuttalam, Parasalur, Sembanarkovil and other places in Mayiladuturai revenue division in Nagapattinam district on Tuesday protesting the inordinate delay in broad gauge conversion work in Mayiladuturai-Villupuram section.

They urged the Railways to immediately run trains from Mayiladuturai to Chennai via Tiruchi on the chord line until the works were completed.

The hartal was called by the Varthagar Sangam, Mayiladuturai, as the work that was taken up by the Rail Vikas Nigam Limitedin December 2006 was not completed as scheduled by December 2007.

This has caused much hardship to all sections of the society including tourists, traders and others travelling on the main line from Thanjavur to Chennai via Kumbakonam, Mayiladuturai, Sirkazhi, Chidambaram, Cuddalore and Villupuram, they said.

A large number of traders and local people staged a demonstration near the Mayiladuturai railway station to draw the attention of the Railways.

Residents’ associations of Nagapattinam, chambers of commerce, traders, consumer council and service organisations said that the Railways should operate trains on the chord line at the earliest as the broad gauge conversion on the Nagore-Tiruvarur section had been completed.

Railway sources said that the project was expected to be completed by December 2008.

More In: Today's Paper