Special Correspondent

Says 80 per cent of Chennai-Madurai railway line remains single track

Wants State to be pressured to agree to bear 50% cost of projects

CHENNAI: All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa and her party MPs have urged Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee to sanction new projects and allocate sufficient funds for early completion of ongoing projects in the State.

They said Tamil Nadu, situated in the southern corner of the country and far away from the consuming market, required a well-knit transport infrastructure more than any other State.

Pointing out that 80 per cent of the Chennai-Madurai Railway line, lifeline of the State, continued to be single track, the memorandum stated that the work should be completed within the next two years by allocating sufficient funds.

On electrification, the AIADMK general secretary and the MPs said work was moving at a snail’s pace.

“The Railway Ministry had sanctioned and approved work regarding electrification up to Kanyakumari two years ago. Sufficient funds may be allocated for electrification for Trichy-Madurai, Madurai-Kanyakumari and Madurai-Tuticorin rail tracks.”

They requested Ms. Banerjee to allocate sufficient funds for gauge conversion work between Coimbatore-Dindigul via Palani, arguing that this link was important since it connected Coimbatore and Madurai, two major cities. Besides seeking allocation of adequate funds for the Coastal Railway line between Chennai and Puducherry via Mamallapuram, the AIADMK leader said the Tamil Nadu government should be pressured to agree to bear 50 per cent of the cost of projects sanctioned by the Railway Board a few years ago. The new projects are Ariyalur-Tanjore; Dindigal-Kumuzhi; Dharmapuri-Morappur; Needamangalam-Mannargudi; Thiruvannamalai-Jolarpettai; and Thanjavur-Pudukottai via Kandarvakottai.

They also wanted the Ministry to sanction another railway line between Avadi-Sriperumbudur.

Pointing out that paltry allocations had prevented the MRTS in Chennai from reaching its destination in St. Thomas Mount, they said it should be completed this year with more allocation of funds. The AIADMK sought suburban trains connecting Coimbatore-Erode; Coimbatore-Pollachi; Madurai-Virudhunagar; and Madurai-Dindigal.