S Vishnu Sharmaa, INN/Chennai, @infodeaofficial
Lot has been happening on the railway front for Tamilnadu. Things appear to be bright as far as railway projects are considered. Allocations to the state are tripled from average Rs 879 crore per year during 2009-14 to average Rs 2,550 crore per year during 2014-19, said Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal.
This has helped in speedening various projects and building new capacity. Creating new capacity is required to provide better services to passengers and strengthen railway network. Doubling and electrification of the rail line between the ‘state capital’ Chennai and the ‘cultural capital’ Madurai has ensured faster passenger service.
Also, in the last two years, Railways has completed the
doubling and electrification of the Villupuram-Dindigul and Tiruchchirappalli-Thanjavur lines at a cumulative cost of Rs 1,950 crore, thereby significantly improving speed and safety between these cities.
Further, 64 train services have been introduced in the last five years to ease passenger travel. Now, 27 projects worth Rs 20,000 crore, which include doubling, electrification, new lines and station redevelopment are being accelerated toward completion.
Safety has been given the highest priority and every possible measure is being taken to ensure safer journey for passengers. As a consequence, we eliminated all unmanned level crossings on the broad gauge network of Tamilnadu in mission mode.
Track renewal works have been sped up. Railways is also working towards a complete switch over to the safer LHB coaches in which ICF Chennai is playing a major role by augmenting coach production. Passenger security too is now being enhanced with CCTVs and baggage scanners at major stations, said Piyush Goyal.
Railways is not merely bridging geographical divides but also connecting the cultural heritage of Tamilnadu. We have approved a 17 Kms long rail line between Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi (the starting point of Ram Setu) to replace the one that was washed away by tidal waves in 1964.
In addition, we have also approved a new vertical lift bridge at Pamban to replace the 100 year old bridge. Now, pilgrims can travel with comfort and safety as they visit the famous Lord Shiva Temple at Rameshwaram and also head towards Ram Setu. This project will be completed at a total cost of Rs. 458 cr, and will lead to greater development of this region and draw tourists from all over the world while creating employment.
Chennai is one of the premier metro cities in India, and a major economic hub. To facilitate smooth passenger movement in the city, Railways has focussed on improvement of the suburban rail network.
New services have been introduced which will ease travel for people and make their commute faster and convenient. The Chengalpattu-Gummidipoondi service will interconnect the Southern and North Eastern lines of Chennai Suburban. Further, the introduction of 12 car EMUs in Chennai-Gummidipoondi-
Sullurpeta, new EMUs from Kancheepuram to Madras Beach, and Puducherry to Chennai will enhance passenger carrying capacity.
I congratulate ICF and Tamilnadu for creating this train in a record time of 18 months, and giving wings to the ‘Make in India’ vision. These class of trains will be used across the country, and also exported thereby leading to huge employment opportunities and investment in Tamilnadu. We have already planned 130 train-sets, he said.