Additional 60 km Villupuram-Dindigul doubling target assigned to SR

Railway Board sets new goal after zones fail to meet target. Board reiterates its directive to General Managers to set up a system for monitoring progress of work periodically

Chennai: The Railway Board has cracked the whip on zonal railways that failed to meet monthly targets set for completing new/ongoing projects.

After a review, Southern Railway has been given an additional target of 60 kms of double line works between Villupuram and Dindigul, which is part of the much-awaited Chennai-Madurai double line electrification project, railway sources said.

Intensifying the targets, the Railway Board reiterated its directive to zonal General Managers to set a system for monitoring progress of work periodically. In a note, Member (Mechanical) A.K.Mittal referred to an earlier communication setting specific targets for completion of works in a phased manner. Pointing out that “slippage” of targets was observed in some railway divisions, he said there was a need to contemplate additional targets so keep the commitment given to Parliament, the sources said. Southern Railway was allocated a sum of Rs. 2,064 crore in the last budget which is an addition of just Rs. 22 crore more compared to the previous year. Besides expediting some long-pending projects like the Madurai-Kanniyakumari broad gauge double line and Sengottai-Kollam gauge conversion, the focus was also on eliminating unmanned level crossings.

Asked about the progress of sanctioned projects, Additional General Manager P.K. Mishra said works of the fifth and sixth BG line between Moore Market Complex and Basin Bridge Junction in Chennai Division were fast under completion. “The two new lines will ease the bottleneck in the operation of suburban trains between Chennai and Arakkonam. This will tremendously improve the punctuality of suburban trains from the present 60 per cent to about 90 per cent.” Mr. Mishra said the Chennai-Madurai double line work would be completed by March 2017 paving the way for operation of more trains in the sector. “The double line will reduce the total running time between the two cities. Though work has begun to establish a third line between Tambaram and Chengalpet, the full benefit can be achieved only when there is a fourth line. At least 8 lakh passengers commute in the Chennai-Arakkonam and Chennai-Chengalpet routes,” he said.

Level crossings

Of the 600 odd unmanned level crossings in Southern Railway, 200 were taken up for closure this fiscal. Construction of over 200 road over bridges and subways was under way across the zone. The Sengottai-Punalur gauge conversion work was expected to be completed by the end March next year. “We will be able to operate trains from Chennai to Kollam via Dindigul, Madurai and Sengottai which will be a closer and alternative route to Kerala.”

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