Special Correspondent

Announcements on introduction of new trains hailed

MADURAI: Benefits of reduction in freight rates for petrol and diesel, announced by the Union Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad, in the Railway Budget, should be passed on to the common man by the oil companies, said the Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA) here on Wednesday.

In its reaction to the Railway Budget, the MADITSSIA said that the benefits of infrastructure development and speedy ticketing facility would reach the passengers directly. Its president, P. T. Krishnamoorthy, hailed, in a statement, the announcements on introduction of new trains, amenities on and off trains, concessions, reduction in fares and improvement in ticketing. However, he expressed disappointment over the non-allocation of any ‘garib rath’ for Tamil Nadu.

The doubling of track in the Dindigul-Villupuram section and gauge conversion in Madurai-Bodi section would boost industrial activity in the southern region. But the MADITSSIA was disappointed that no announcement had been made on the doubling and electrification of Madurai-Tirunelveli and Madurai-Tuticorin sections and extension of Madurai-Bodi line to Kottayam.

Innovative

The Madura Railway Passengers’ Association cheered the decision to reduce fares when prices of essential commodities were going up. Its secretary, Kumar Venkatesan, applauded the announcements on improved passenger amenities and felt that provision of escalator facility at important stations would benefit senior citizens and the handicapped. However, the association expressed disappointment over the non-allocation of more funds for doubling the Chennai-Nagercoil section.

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