Manamadurai–Chennai Silambu Express to be extended
There is good news for people of Shencottah and Tenkasi as they will get one more train to Chennai in addition to the existing Pothigai Express. The Manamadurai–Chennai Silambu Express is to be shortly extended up to Shencottah.
The proposed express train will connect the State capital with Shencottah, situated in the foothills of the Western Ghats, via Tambaram, Chengalpattu, Villupuram, Vriddhachalam, Ariyalur, Tiruchi, Pudukottai, Karaikudi, Sivaganga, Manamadurai and Virudhunagar.
Speaking to reporters at Tenkasi Railway Junction on Tuesday after a brief inspection, General Manager of Southern Railway Rakesh Misra said the extension of Silambu Express up to Shencottah had been granted following repeated appeals from the public and their representatives.
The train would be operated from Shencottah to Chennai as early as possible, he added.
On the delay in completing the work on Shencottah–Punalur gauge conversion, Mr.Misra said the Central government had sanctioned Rs.20 crore for this project this year while the actual requirement was Rs.300 crore.
Though Tenkasi MP P. Lingam and Mavelikkara MP and Union Minister of State for Labour Kodikunnil Suresh had persuaded Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to increase funds allocation for this project, the amount earmarked this year was little. “So the gauge conversion may take a long time for completion,” Mr.Misra noted.
When the GM’s reaction was sought on the frequent mechanical faults crippling the Pothigai Express engine, he said the Southern Railway was maintaining the locos with utmost care and 94 per cent of the trains running in this region were reaching their destinations on time.
On his way back to Madurai, Mr.Misra had a brief chat with Rajya Sabha MP S. Thangavelu at Sankarankovil. As the General Manager, along with his team, inspected the stations en route, all railway stations wore a clean look.