Staff Reporter

Railway Board contemplates introduction of high-speed bullet trains

MADURAI: The Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has requested the Union Railway Minister to allot adequate funds in the Railway Budget 201-11 to execute the major ongoing projects in Tamil Nadu.

A delegation comprising Chamber senior president S. Rethinavelu and other office-bearers submitted a memorandum to Union Minister for Railways Mamata Banerjee, Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa and Railway Board Chairman S.S. Khurana.

Mr. Rethinavelu said that several major railway projects in Tamil Nadu were stalled owing to paucity of funds with Southern Railway exhausting its allocation for the current year.

Some of the important projects that need further allotment of funds are the Rs. 278-crore broad gauge conversion of 120-km Dindigul-Pollachi route, the Rs. 140-crore broad gauge line project of the 60-km Manamadurai-Virudhunagar line, broad gauge conversion of Shencottah-Punalur section of the Virudhunagar-Thenkasi-

Shencottah-Punalur project.

Noting that the Railway Board was contemplating introduction of high-speed bullet trains capable of running at 500 kmph between important cities, the chamber said the Madurai–Chennai route should be considered in view of the ever-increasing traffic.

While thanking Railway Administration for announcing new passenger amenity works such as the circulation area, approach road, platform shelter/extension and foot-over-bridge at Koodal Nagar railway station at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.55 crore in 2003-04, he said that only a token allotment had been made so far.

He called for expeditious allocation of the rest of the funds for completing the works. The chamber also requested that freight class for food grains and pulses be shifted from class 130 to class 110 to bring down its prices, according to a press release.