Staff Reporter

Plan panel has given the nod, says Velu

TIRUCHI: The Union Planning Commission has given its in-principle approval for the electrification of the Madurai-Tuticorin and Maniyachi-Nagercoil broad gauge sections, Union Minister of State for Railways R. Velu said on Friday.

Cost

It will involve a cost of Rs.146 crore, he told reporters after participating in the passing-out parade of Constable Recruits of Railway Protection Force and Railway Protection Special Force at the RPF Training Centre here.

Progress

On the progress made in the electrification work between Villupuram and Tiruchi, Mr. Velu said electrification up to Tiruchi would be over by December. The Tiruchi-Madurai electrification work would take a year for completion.

Earnings

There was a 12 per cent increase in the railway earnings (passenger and freight) in 2007-08, he said.

The number of passengers travelling by trains had risen by seven per cent.

In the freight front, a target had been set to achieve 850 million tonnes during the current fiscal.

Survey ordered

He said a survey had been ordered to examine the feasibility of laying a new line from Chidambaram to Athur via Kattumannarkoil, Meensuritti, Gangikondacholapuram, Udayarpalayam, Ariyalur and Perambalur.

The Tiruvarur-Nagore broad gauge conversion work was over and the section was ready.

Similarly, the Katpadi-Vellore section was also ready for inspection by the Commissioner of Railway Safety. Gauge conversion works between Nagore and Velankanni and Vellore Cantonment and Tiruvannamalai would be over by December. The stretch from Tiruvannamalai to Villupuram would be completed by March.

Gauge conversion works were completed on over 1,000 km in Southern Railway and the works were on in 900 km in the zone. In the next two to three years time, these works would be over, Mr. Velu said.

Inspection

Later, the Minister, accompanied by Divisional Railway Manager R.C. Jat and senior officials, inspected the progress of passenger amenities works being executed at the Tiruchi Junction.

He also inspected the control office and the heritage hall at the office of the Divisional Railway Manager.

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