CHENNAI: Southern Railway has decided to conduct a feasibility study to provide rail connectivity to nine towns—Valparai, Gobichettipalayam, Krishnagiri, Edappadi, Devakottai, Kambam, Dharapuram, Pernampattu and Kallakuruchi—in Tamil Nadu.
While Krishnagiri and Kallakuruchi are district headquarters, the remaining towns are taluk headquarters. Residents from these areas have to travel 25 km to 35 km to reach major stations to access train facilities to Chennai and other major cities.
Yanam town of Puducherry Union Territory located in Andhra Pradesh will also be covered under the study. The study is planned as part of the railway board’s decision to provide rail connectivity to 80 towns that have a population of more than 50,000 in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and a few other states and union territories.
The population was fixed based on 2011 census.
PM GatiShakti NMP Portal (BISAG - Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics) has identified towns with more than 50,000 population that do not have train facility within 5-km radius, the railway board has said in its directive issued to railway zones, including Southern Railway.
‘Will see if new stations can be built on existing lines’
For laying new lines, a preliminary engineering cum traffic survey will be conducted soon. “Engineering studies for laying new lines were being carried out since pre-independence. As per the board directive, we will decide if new lines are required or new stations can be provided in existing lines,” an official said.
Major towns are not covered through railway lines mainly because of geographical and topographical disadvantages. The traffic survey will cover freight and passenger traffic potential, classification of land, and rate of return for the project, sources said.