Trains to run on elevated stretch

CHENNAI, JULY 24. The Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) services between Perungudi and Velachery stations will run on an elevated structure, to be constructed at an additional cost of Rs. 15 crores, R. Velu, Union Minister of State for Railways, said today.

After inaugurating construction works for the structure at Perungudi, Mr. Velu said originally it was proposed to lay a track on the earthen embankment of the Pallikaranai marsh. But, the soil had sunk in a few places on the stretch.

The problem was referred to the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, which conducted a study on the nature of the problem and remedial measures for the execution of the work in the area. It suggested the construction of the elevated structure supported on piles, anchored into hard rock.

Board's approval

Mr. Velu said based on the report, a proposal to construct the elevated structure for a length of 850 metres was submitted to the Railway Board. The Board's sanction was required for additional funds to the tune of Rs. 15 crores. The Board approved the proposal and sanctioned the funds, he said.

On extension of MRTS services up to Perungudi, he said the works would be completed by October after which the services would begin. Similarly, the work up to Velachery would be completed by May next, he said.

`Cross over' facility

The absence of a `cross over' facility (for shifting from one track to the other) between Tirumayilai and Tiruvanmiyur stations had forced authorities to operate services using a single line. However, in Perungudi station the facility would be available after which both the tracks would become operational. Only after completing the works at Perungudi, both lines between Tirumayilai and Tiruvanmiyur would be put to use, Mr. Velu said.

As per the agreement, the State Government had provided its share for the second phase between Tirumayilai and Velachery.

The total cost was Rs. 706 crores and the State Government had agreed to share two thirds of the cost. It had already deposited Rs. 413.81 crores, the Minister said.

On schedule

The gauge conversion work between Tambaram and Egmore was progressing as per schedule.

About 20 contractors and 1,000 labourers were working day and night to complete it within the stipulated time of four months, Mr. Velu said. Even last week, V. Anand, Southern Railway General Manager, inspected the progress of work on the stretch, he said.

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