CHENNAI: Southern Railway has submitted four high-priority projects with an estimated cost of Rs 6,770 crore to Tamil Nadu government for securing funding during the much-awaited Global Investors Meet (GIM), General Manager Ashok K Agarwal said on Tuesday.
He was briefing the media while kicking off the Railway Passenger and Customer Facilitation Fortnight from May 26 to June 9.
The four projects are multi-crore new lines and doubling cum electrification of Madurai-Kanyakumari sector.
Listing the zone’s achievements for the past year as well as plans for this financial year, Agarwal said, “Special thrust will be given to reduce run-over deaths in Chennai division. Currently 1,000 people die while crossing tracks in the zone and we want to bring it down to 50 per cent.”
For this, elaborate plans have been put in place and a tie-up with FM radio channels for a campaign were on the anvil, sources said. In 25 days in May, the Madras division had managed to reduce the number of deaths by 33 per cent, Agarwal added.
As per directions of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, the zone is also keen on eliminating Level Crossings, 88 of which were removed last year. “This year we have a target of 165,” he said.
However, land acquisition issues are a stumbling block, as is the case with LC-32 in Perungalathur, another official pointed out.
Agarwal said the zone had written to the Railway Board to hand over operations of the Beach-Velachery MRTS railway line to Chennai Metro Rail. On the delay in the MRTS extension from Velachery to St Thomas Mount, he said the issue, in court due to land acquisition, would be resolved soon.
Plans are there for Metro Rail to pump in 400 crores in the Chennai Central complex for constructing a multi-storied parking complex apart from other amenities, Agarwal said.
Paperless mobile-ticketing for suburban train commuters, introduced on the Egmore-Tambaram route, would be extended to all sections in a week, he added.
For the Royapuram terminal project, railway’s consultancy arm, RITES, had been commissioned to conduct a study. Works at Tambaram, identified as another terminal station, were progressing fast with the construction of two pit lines under way.
4 Projects for funding through GIM
a) Madurai-Tirunelveli-Nagercoil-Kanyakumari doubling cum electrification. 256 km. Rs 2600 Cr
b) Avadi-Sriperumbudur-Guduvancheri with spur line between Sriperumbudur and Irungattukottai. New line with electrification. 60 km. Rs 720 Cr
c) Chennai (Perungudi)- Mahabalipuram-Puducherry-Cuddalore new line. 179.3 km. Rs 1950 Cr
d) Madurai-Aruppukottai-Melmarudur-Tuticorin new line. 143.5 km. Rs 1500 Cr
Passenger amenities in coming year
■ 41 escalators and 37 lifts at stations
■ On board housekeeping service (OBHS) on 30 more trains
■ Online booking of retiring rooms in 18 more stations
■ Paperless mobile ticketing on all sections in Chennai suburban network
Status of infra projects
■ Chengalpattu-Villupuram doubling: 86 km completed and trains running
■ Chengalpattu - Karunguzhi: 20 km stretch completed. Opening after CRS inspection
■ Kallakudi Palanganatham - Ariyalur: 26 km completed as part of Villupuram - Dindigul doubling project
■ Mulanturutti - Piravam Road: 12 km completed as part of Mulanturutti - Kuruppantara doubling project.
■ Gauge Conversion on Palani - Pollachi section: (63 km) and Pollachi - Palakkad Town section (53 km) Opening after CRS inspection * Electrification completed in Virudhunagar - Tirunelveli (142 km) and Villupuram - Katpadi section and trains are running
■ Works completed in 33 km stretch on Coimbatore-Mettupalayam