Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi on Tuesday thanked Railway Minister Lalu Prasad for the sanctions and provisions he had made for Tamil Nadu in the railway budget.

In a letter, a copy of which was released to the Press, he said the budget was remarkable as there had been no hike in fare. In fact, there was a reduction in tariff.

Projects in Tamil Nadu received an allocation of Rs. 715.52 crore for the next financial year as against Rs. 446.22 crore in the current year.

Sanction of a considerable amount for major ongoing projects such as the Tiruchi-Nagore-Karaikal, Quilon-Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur, Villupuram-Katpadi, Tiruchi-Manamadurai, and Villupuram- Mayiladuturai; introduction of five new trains; sanction of two new BG lines, two gauge conversion projects and survey for four new lines would be well received by the people of the State.

Mr. Karunanidhi said he was glad that of the 93 railway over-bridges sanctioned in the budget, 38 were in Tamil Nadu. The announcement that the Salem Railway Division would function in a full-fledged manner within three months, with a sanction of Rs. 3 crore, would gladden the hearts of people.

The Chief Minister also thanked Minister of State for Railways R. Velu for all his initiatives and support.