Special Correspondent

Official cites enhanced allocation in current financial year

CHENNAI: Funds will not be a constraint for ongoing railway projects in the State and Southern Railway will get additional funds as and when required. In the current financial year also initial allotment for various gauge conversion projects was only Rs.238 crore. Ultimately, based on the progress of projects, the zone got a total allotment of Rs.512 crore, which was more than double the initial allotment.

According to a senior Southern Railway official, for doubling projects, Rs.73 crore has been allotted in the current budget, which would be utilised for Chengalpattu-Villupuram (103 km) and for additional lines on the Chennai-Attipattu section. As the Villupuram-Dindigul (272 km) doubling is being executed by Rail Vikas Nikas Limited, the project would be executed with its own resources.

The Railway Ministry also sanctioned Rs.255 crore for various new lines in the State, including Salem-Karur, Chinna Salem-Kallakurichi, Erode-Salem, Tindivanam-Nagari, and Attipatu-Puttur. In addition, a new line from Needamangalam to Mannargudi (13 km) has been sanctioned in the current budget. Of these new lines, Salem-Namakkal portion of the Salem-Karur would be completed before the end of the next financial year and would be open to traffic. Satisfactory progress could be made in other new lines also subject to availability of land.

Railway electrification work between Tiruchi and Madurai was in progress and the same is likely to be completed in another two months.

For electrification of Madurai-Tuticorin/ Tirunelveli section, Rs.63.177 crore had been allotted in the current budget.

Contract for overhead electrification had been awarded and physical work would start during the course of the month.

The official said the Ministry had assured the zone that funds would be released whenever required.