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Work on doubling and electrification of the Rly track up to Kannyakumari commences

The much delayed project to double the railway track with electrification to the landís end at Kanyakumari is all set to take off when the Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain lays the foundation stone on January 23rd.

With the expected completion of the Rs 3618 crore project in the next three years the farthest point of the South will be connected to the rest of the country with electrified fast alternative line route through South Tamil Nadu. The major ports in Tamil Nadu Chennai, Kamarajar Port in Ennore and VOC Port Tuticorin besides a string of minor ports including Karaikal will have better rail connectivity once this project is completed.

Another landmark will be achieved with the availability of garland of two Electrified double line route from Chennai to Kannyakumari via Madurai and Tirunvelveli (742 kilometers) and via Salem, Coimbatore, Cochin and Tiruvananthapuram (1007 kilometers)

The components of the project which was pending with the centre for more than ten years include doubling with electrification of track between Madurai,  Vanchi Maniyachi  and Tuticorin at a cost of Rs 1182.38 crores (160 KMS)  Vanchi Maniyachi, Tirunelveli and Nagercoil at a cost of Rs 1003.94 crores, both in Tamil Nadu (102 Kms)  Tiruvananthapuram central to Kanyakumari Rs 1431.90 crores  (86 kms)

The project was pending with Niti Ayog for nearly three years and earlier with the Planning Commission for several years on grounds of viability. The Centre was also pressing Tamil Nadu government to share the costs. Since the state government did not budge the railways had no option but to start work on the strategic project. The railway lineís proximity to major ports would help faster evacuation of cargo. Two more transshipment terminals are being commissioned at Vizhinjam and Enayam which will involve massive movement of containers from the southern tip to other parts of the country.

The Southern Railway is currently focusing on offering last mile connectivity to the Ports in the region .This includes seven major ports besides a string of minor ports. The project will promote faster movement of freight to the southern districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and boost freight revenue. 

In the map given above, the section located at the southernmost tip of peninsular India is a highly saturated tourist and commercial hub. The lengthy coastlines, serene beaches, towering temples and picturesque locations drew tourists and pilgrims from all over the world. When completed, the project will offer seamless connectivity to major tourist destinations and pilgrimage centers apart from benefitting students and short distance travelers.

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