CHENNAI: Forty days after the Union Cabinet gave its nod for the Railways and State Government to form a joint venture, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday said that the Tamil Nadu Government has given “in principle” consent for launching a new (Joint Venture) company to execute railway projects.
“In Tamil Nadu, we want to create a Joint Venture Company with the State. The Union Cabinet has already approved the proposal for Joint Ventures with the States. State Government has already offered their in-principle consent. We will be very happy to work with them to take this idea forward. So that in addition to what is provided in the budget, all regions and different districts of TN get equal share of development,” he said on the sidelines of inaugurating a series of railway projects at Tambaram.
The minister laid foundation stones for the 30 km line between Tambaram and Chengalpattu at Tambaram, for a new 16 km line from Chinnasalem to Kallakurichi, for the commissioning of an escalator at Tiruchirapalli Junction, flagged off Chennai Central - Shalimar Suvidha AC Express train at Chennai Central and kicked off the commencement of sale of personalised take away bedrolls at Chennai Central and Thiruvananthapuram Central through video conferencing.
Addressing the gathering, Prabhu said that the Centre was committed to execute the backlog of projects in Tamil Nadu, hinting of adequate funds for the purpose in the upcoming railway budget. “We increased the budget for Tamil Nadu more than one-and-a-half times. This was the highest ever budget that Tamil Nadu got. We will try to do as much as possible next year as well.... Tamil Nadu has not got its due share in the previous years,” the Minister said noting that the State has a backlog of railway developmental projects, which needs to corrected.
Lauding Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, the Union Minister said that the State Government is willing to collaborate with the Centre for railway projects. He further added that connectivity of ports in the State would be a priority area and the railways wanted to take forward the projects involving suburban systems in Chennai with the State Government.
Highlighting the achievements of his ministry, he said that 100 per cent e-tendering will be achieved in a couple of months for ensuring transparency.