Paucity of funds has affected execution of development works at railway stations as well as other railway works in a big way, General Manager of Southern Railway Rakesh Misra has said.

After inaugurating the work on converting Melapalayam railway station in Palayamkottai into a crossing station on Wednesday, Mr.Misra said the Southern Railway which received Rs.1,100 crore during the last fiscal for various works such as track doubling, gauge conversion and railway station development had been allotted only Rs.560 crore this year. The drastic reduction in fund allocation was due to the huge salary bills necessitated by the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations and the fuel price hike.

“We’ve to be extremely careful in identifying and executing works with this year’s allocation,” Mr.Misra noted.

On the completion of Madurai-Kanyakumari electrification work, he said train operation using electricity would commence on this track within the next three to six months.

As Melapalayam station does not have a raised platform, a removable ladder was fixed to the coach to enable Mr.Mishra to get down from his inspection car without difficulty.

Divisional Railway Manager (Thiruvananthapuram) Rajesh Agrawal and Tirunelveli MP S.S. Ramasubbu accompanied Mr.Misra, who also inspected Nanguneri and Valliyoor stations, and inaugurated waiting halls there.

Crossing stations

Later laying the foundation stone for the construction of two crossing stations at Nagercoil town railway station, Mr.Mishra said Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli stations would not be transferred to Madurai division from Thiruvananthapuram division. Regarding the operation of Nagercoil–Bangalore Daily Express, he said the decision would be taken by the South-Central Railway authorities.

Asked about the demand for extending Tiruchi–Tirunelveli Intercity Express to Kanyakumari, Mr.Mishra said the decision would be taken by the Railway Ministry.

Lok Sabha member J. Helen Davidson and Collector S. Nagarajan accompanied the General Manager.

Earlier, he inspected the infrastructure facilities at various stations such as Aralvoimozhi, Thovalai, Nagercoil town, Nagercoil junction and Kanyakumari.