S. Nadarajan

Says a broad gauge line will facilitate direct train to Karaikal

  • Tindivanam-Pondy link should be expedited: Chief Minister
  • Chennai-Pondicherry train through Mahabalipuram, Marakkanam urged
  • The proposed Pondicherry-Bhubhaneswar train can be extended up to Howrah

    PONDICHERRY: Pondicherry Chief Minister N. Rangasamy has urged the Railway Ministry to lay a broad gauge line between Pondicherry and Cuddalore.

    In a memorandum submitted to Minister of State for Railways R. Velu here on Sunday, Mr. Rangasamy said that in the absence of a rail link between the two towns, tourists and others rely on road transport, which resulted in congestion.

    A broad gauge line to cover the 23-km stretch would help people travel from Villupuram to Cuddalore through Pondicherry and facilitate a direct train service to Karaikal.

    Mr. Rangasamy said the project for a rail link between Tindivanam and Pondicherry should also be expedited and sought a service between Chennai and Pondicherry, through Mahabalipuram and Marakkanam.

    The proposed Pondicherry-Bhubhaneswar train could be extended up to Howrah to help tourists from West Bengal to visit Pondicherry round the year. The Mass Rapid Transport System and mono railway should be promoted.

    As for the Karaikal region, Mr. Rangasamy said the proposal for a Tiruchi-Karaikail-Nagore broad gauge line was made in the Railway Budget for 1996. Now that the broad gauge line between Tiruchi and Tiruvarur had been laid, the line from Nagore to Karaikal should be completed by 2007.

    The stations at Karaikal and Tirumalarayanpattinam should be constructed speedily, he urged. With Karaikal getting a Rs. 35-crore fishing harbour and the Government planning to establish a Rs. 1,000-crore port at Vanjoor near Karaikal, there was a pressing need for the station at Karaikal.

    The Pondicherry Government would develop Tirunallar near Karaikal as a temple town on an outlay of Rs. 220 crore.

    Hence, a rail link between Karaikal and Tirunallar was essential.

    Mr. Rangasamy also sought a broad gauge line between Yanam, an enclave of the Union Territory, and Kakinada.

    The Pondicherry Government would make its contribution on the pattern adopted for the rail line between Pondicherry and Villupuram.