V.S. Palaniappan

COIMBATORE: The Railway Ministry will conduct a meeting in Chennai on April 9 to evolve means of preventing delay in the implementation of development work, executed by contractors, owing to the increase in the cost of construction materials, Minister of State for Railways R. Velu said on Friday.

Experts and senior officials of the Railways Ministry will take part in the meeting, he told reporters on the sidelines of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Signal and Telecommunications Workshop of the Southern Railway at Podanur near here.

In the last three months alone, the prices went up sharply, a reason for contractors not finishing the works as per schedule. Yet, steps were being taken to complete most of the works such as laying of new lines, gauge conversion and electrification. As for a consumer body moving the Supreme Court for a directive to the Railways to rationalise the tariff structure and refrain from imposing hidden charges on passengers, Mr. Velu said the issue was in court, so it could not be discussed.

He said proposals would be drawn up for creating terminal and coach maintenance facilities either at Coimbatore North Junction or at Podanur for handling future requirements.

Expeditious steps would be taken for adding additional coaches to the recently-introduced Coimbatore-Nagercoil Express.