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Monday, December 20, 2010

Karunanidhi urges Centre to set apart sufficient funds for railway projects

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Monday expressed his regret that a number of railway projects in the State, announced in the Railway Budget, have not been taken up.

Inaugurating a broad gauge line between Nagapattinam and Velankanni through videoconferencing at the Secretariat here, Mr. Karunanidhi said the projects such as Athipattu-Puthur, Erode-Palani and Chennai-Cuddalore through Mamallapuram, the conversion of Madurai-Bodinayackanur meter gauge into broad gauge, third line for Chennai Beach-Korrukkupet, fourth line between the Beach and Athipattu, another such line for Tiruvallur-Arakkonam and Villupuram-Dindigul double line were announced in the budget earlier. He also referred to the slow progress of projects such as Tindivanam-Gingee-Tiruvannamalai and Tindivanam-Nagari new lines and the conversion of meter gauge lines into broad gauge lines in the stretches of Manamadurai-Virudhunagar, Dindigul-Pollachi-Palakkad-Coimbatore and Mayiladuthurai-Tiruvarur-Karaikudi-Thiruthuraipoondi besides doubling of Chengalpattu-Villupuram line.

He urged the Union government to set apart sufficient funds for all these projects and ensure expeditious implementation.

At the same time, the Chief Minister gave an account of the execution of several railway projects that had been taken up since 2006. The projects included the conversion of meter gauge lines into broad gauge lines for Virudhunagar-Rajapalayam-Tenkasi and Tiruchi-Pudukottai.

Recalling that the Union government gave its approval in 2002 for laying new broad gauge lines for Nagapattinam-Velankanni and Nagapattinam-Karaikal, he said that the present government, after its formation in May 2006, had speeded up the process of land acquisition that was proceeding at a slow pace till then.

After the completion of land acquisition, the work on laying the lines began in 2008. The 10.3 km Nagapattinam-Velankanni line was laid at a cost of Rs. 58 crore that included the cost of the Velankanni railway station. The Velankanni Church had contributed Rs.1 crore. The 10-km Nagore-Karaikal rail line would be completed within one or two months, and the works on the Rs.90-crore project was progressing satisfactorily.

In response to the State government's request for Nagapattinam-Thiruthuraipoondi via Thirukuvalai, the Minister of State for Railways had written to the government, informing its approval of the proposal, the Chief Minister added.

Union Minister of State for Finance S.S. Palanimanickam, State Dairy Development Minister U. Mathivanan, A.K.S Vijayan, Member of Parliament, and Rector Michael of Velankanni shrine participated in the function held at Velankanni railway station.


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