It was yet another year of disappointment for the industry and people looking forward to the speedy completion of Erode-Palani new railway line (via Dharapuram and Kangayam in Tirupur district) as the Railway Budget did not make any fresh allocation for the project.

To express their anguish over the apathy, about 10,000 members of Erode-Dharapuram-Palani Railway Citizens Committee, who had been crusading for the project, took a decision to exercise 49 - O option in the next Lok Sabha elections.

“It is a pity that the Ministry in the last eight years has allocated just over Rs. 85 crore against the total project cost of Rs. 600 crore,” said Lingam Chinnasamy, general secretary of Erode-Dharapuram-Palani Railway Citizens Committee. He pointed out that the 91-km project was conceptualised many decades ago and the first set of funds to the tune of Rs. 2 crore was allocated in the Railway Budget in 2005.

After that, the next allocation of Rs. 40 crore came in 2010, another Rs. 33 crore in 2011 and Rs. 15 crore in 2012.

“All these allocations, which came in a piecemeal manner, has been insufficient for completing even the preliminary works including land acquisitions,” Mr. Chinnasamy said.