NAGAPATTINAM: The famous Christian pilgrim centre Vailankanni in Nagapattinam district finally got the rail connectivity on Monday as Chief Minister M Karunanidhi inaugurated the newly laid Nagapattinam-Vailankanni broad gauge line through video-conferencing from the Secretariat.
Transport Minister K N Nehru, General Manager of Southern Railway Deepak Krishan and other officials were present during the inauguration.
At Vailankanni, the inaugural train was flagged off by Union Minister of State for Finance SS Palanimanickam in the presence of Dairy Development Minister U Mathivanan, MP AKS Vijayan, District Collector C Munianathan, MLA Marimuthu and top officials from Southern Railway, Tiruchy Division.
Union Minister of State for Railways E Ahmed did not participate in this important event, much to the disappointment of the people and NGOs, who had planned to submit representations requesting more train services from Vailankanni, Nagapattinam and Nagore.
Addressing the function through video-conferencing, M Karunanidhi said soon after coming to power in 2006, the DMK Government expedited the long pending land acquisition process for the Nagapattinam-Vailankanni BG section. He appreciated the Vailankanni church administration for making Rs 1 crore contribution to the project.
The Chief Minister expressed hopes that the new line would be beneficial to pilgrims of all communities visiting Nagapattinam district.
The Nagore-Karaikal BG line erection works were going on in full swing at a cost of Rs 90 crore, he added and expressed hopes that the work would be completed in a couple of months.
He pointed out that the Railway Ministry had given its nod for the Nagapattinam-Thiruthuraipoondi section via Thirukkuvalai.
Later, a special train to Nagapattinam from Vailankanni was flagged off on the occasion. To start with, the Railways will operate four shuttle services between Vailankanni-Nagapattinam and Vailankanni-Nagore every day.