Railway move to shift goods handling draws flak

Published: 22nd May 2013 08:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2013 08:30 AM   |  A+A-

Puducherry-Railway-Station

The railways decision to stop handling goods traffic at Puducherry Railway Station by converting the goods railway line into a passenger line and a platform has drawn flak from the consumer affairs and the port.  Many felt that the sudden plan to convert the goods line into a passenger line would hit the flow of goods. 

However, the stoppage of the goods handling would have a direct impact on the transportation cost of foodgrains meant for Public Distribution System (PDS). The goods handling line has been used for transportation of foodgrains by the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

When the railway officials visited the Puducherry Railway Station, Department of Civil Supplies(which provides food security to the people of UT) had opposed the closure.

The Port Department also feels that the line should be retained as once the port starts  handling cargo, the movement of the cargo could be carried through railways.

The Port Department had already spent `90 lakh in gauge conversion of the line linking railway station to the old port. Moreover, the railways have been approached to connect the line to the new port and have submitted a draft plan in this regard, said an official.  The official added that once the mouth of the harbour is desilted, the movement of cargo will commence.

The railway officials justified the closure and contended that the goods train laden with foodgrains arrives at the station only once in a month and instead the line can be converted into a passenger facility to cater to the needs of new trains that were sanctioned in the railway budget. As an alternative, the railways has provided the facility at Chinnababusamudram Railway Station  which is 16 km from Puducherry.

“The railway officials told us that the foodgrains transported can be stored in the FCI godown at Thiruvandarkoil. But, this will cause difficulty in logistics as well as  in maintaining the quality of the foodgrains, director of Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Mohammad Mansoor, told Express. 

“Thiruvandarkoil godown is an open storage unlike the Puducherry godown. The distribution would also be difficult as it has to be transported in trucks to the Central warehouse godown at the Puducherry port,” said Mansoor.

“We are planning to approach Chief Minister N Rangasamy against the railway’s move. Chief Minister will write to the Minister for Railways to drop the plan,” he added.

Meanwhile, a representative of the railway board suggested that the small VIP platform can be converted into a regular platform instead of converting the goods line. Currently, no VIPs are using the railways to travel to Puducherry as they prefer road or helicopter. Moreover, there is potential to increase the length of VIP platform, he added.

He pointed out that if they convert the goods line to a passenger line by adding a platform, there won’t be any space for spur lines (dead end lines) for parking of trains and pit facility for maintenance of trains, sanctioned in the railway budget for five consecutive years.     

“We hope the new chief secretary will give due consideration to the issue before accepting the closure of the facility,” he added.

Stay up to date on all the latest Tamil Nadu news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp