Southern Railway which operates trains in the highly
dense traffic states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala has got a budget allocation of Rs
4,118.80 crore for the financial year 2019-20 in the union budget presented to
the Lok sabha last week.
of the Rs 4,118.80 Crore, Rs 901.90 crore has been allocated for doubling of
tracks. The railway’s internal wing Rail Vikas Nigam is implementing the track
doubling project from Madurai to Tuticorin to provide connectivity to the Major
port of Tuticorin which has been in existence for the past 45 years. At present
the port has single railway line connectivity to the railway network and hence
80 per cent of the cargo is handled by the road sector. This adds up to the
Fund allocation for
doubling of tracks, very poor
project was announced two years ago in the union budget and fund allocation has
been poor. In fact the railway minister Piyush Goyal had announced the project which envisages laying of double
railway track in 160 kilometers would take three years for completion. The
Minister however did not commit any time frame for completion of the second leg
of the sanctioned project to Kanyakumari.
Gauge conversion and new lines project Gauge
conversion and new lines projects have been allocated Rs 245.10 crore and Rs
52.29 crore respectively, according to an official release.
new lines pending in TN for over 10 years
sanctioned new lines projects have been pending in Tamil Nadu for over ten
years like Tuticorin Madurai via Arupukottai, Chennai-Puducherry via
Mahabalipuram, Tindivanam Nagari and providing a rail link to Dharmapuri. At
the current rate of allocation for new railway lines which is rs 50 crores (to
be shared with Kerala) these projects would take at least fifty years for
completion according to business chamber sources in the city.As for gauge conversion projects the only one between Tiruvarur to Pattukottai
has been complete.
importance to railway safety work, Rs 380.54 crore have given for work related
to road over bridge and road under bridge and Rs 51.87 crore is allocated for
level crossings work.
renewal work has been allocated Rs 918 crore. Various traffic facilities will
get upgraded with the provision of Rs of Rs. 41.47 crore.
Passenger amenities at stations will be upgraded with Rs 264.22 crore allocated
in the budget.