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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Railways plan doubling of Chennai-Tuticorin section

The Southern Railway has sent a detailed proposal to the Railway Board for the electrification and doubling from Chennai to Tuticorin at a total cost of Rs. 2,000 crore, Southern Railway General Manager Thomas Varghese has said.

Addressing the media here on Wednesday, he said the single line section was "choked" and the Railways were unable to run more trains in this sector. The proposal has been drawn up keeping this in mind.

Mr. Varghese, who earlier reviewed the status of the ongoing major works in the Tiruchi and Madurai Railway divisions with officials here, said the Southern Railway would recommend to the Railway Board the closure of the 125 km Villupuram-Mayiladuthurai metre gauge section from January 1 for completing the gauge conversion work within a year by the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited.

With regard to the Thanjavur-Tiruvarur broad gauge section, Mr. Varghese said though the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) had cleared the operation of train services between Thanjavur and Needamangalam, he wanted the authorities to take up some safety measures and precautions in the stretch from Needamangalam to Tiruvarur. The safety related measures would be completed by October between Needamangalam and Tiruvarur, after which the CRS would be invited for inspection. The ongoing Vriddhachalam-Attur-Salem gauge conversion work would be completed by the end of this financial year.

The Southern Railway has laid emphasis on improving passenger amenities and additional funds would be provided to all divisions under its jurisdiction for this purpose.

Six stations in Tiruchi railway division, including Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Pondicherry and Kumbakonam and five in Madurai division, including Madurai, Tirunelveli and Dindigul had been identified for improvement of passenger amenities. Extension of platforms, better lighting and electronic display board were being planned.

On the security front, surveillance cameras and closed circuit television sets would be installed in major stations in the zone. Bomb Disposal and Detection Squads would be set up in all the divisional headquarters, Mr. Varghese said.

On the performance of the Southern Railway, he said the zone had witnessed marked increase in passenger, freight and total earnings from April to September 20. The total earnings had risen from Rs. 1226 crore to Rs. 1,401 crore from April 1 to September 20 recording an increase of 14 per cent.

Source: The Hindu

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