TAMIL NADU

‘Staggered release of funds delays execution of projects'

on track: R.Ramanathan, Chief Administrative Officer, Southern Railway, inspecting the Nagapattinam-Velankanni rail track on Thursday. — Photo: B. Velankanni Raj

on track: R.Ramanathan, Chief Administrative Officer, Southern Railway, inspecting the Nagapattinam-Velankanni rail track on Thursday. — Photo: B. Velankanni Raj  

The staggered release of funds has caused a general delay in execution of projects and the Southern Railway has been performing well in terms of utilisation of available funds, said R.Ramanathan, Chief Administrative Officer (Construction), Southern Railway on Thursday.

Speaking to The Hindu here after a trolley inspection of the 10-km Velankanni-Nagapattinam line, Mr.Ramanathan said under the Tiruchi-Nagore gauge conversion plan, Rs.238 crore was allotted initially in 2009-10 despite a request for a higher allocation. Ultimately Rs.554 crore was spent during the year. The release of funds in spells had caused some delay, Mr.Ramanathan said.

Similarly, for 2010-11, Rs.315 crore has been allocated for various projects by the Railway Board. However, a request was made for Rs.580 crore. According to Mr.Ramanathan, unexpected rains have prolonged the works along the Velankanni-Nagapattinam line. “Today, we inspected the progress of residual works and resetting of bridges en route. Final touches would entail painting of rails to sustain the corrosive coastal winds. The Velankanni station is almost ready, with platforms and circulating area set,” Mr.Ramanathan said.

The report would be handed over to the Commissioner of Railway Safety. On the 38-km Mayiladuthurai-Tiruvarur line, Mr. Ramanathan said the project would be completed by March-April 2011. Foot-over-bridges in the main platforms of one, two and three would be completed, along with the line by the first quarter of 2011. The Mayiladuthurai-Thiruvarur line is part of the 225-km Mayiladuthurai-Karaikudi project, which includes a line through Thiruthiraipoondi to Agasthyampalli. A proposed rail link, to branched off from the Velankanni-Nagapattinam line at Paapakoil to Thiruthiraipoondi through Thirukuvalai is yet to take off on account of land acquisition, Mr.Ramanathan said.

Further, work on the 10-km Karaikal-Nagore line would be completed by January 2011.



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