Puducherry (PDY): The Tamil Nadu Puducherry Citizens Council for Railway Development has urged the government to exert pressure on the Railway Ministry and expedite implementation of the Mamallapuram-Cuddalore railway project.
M. Sivasankaran, president of the council said the project was conceived in 2008 and the Union Railway Ministry approved and accorded sanction for the new line. However, the project did not kick start even after lapse of considerable time.
The Southern Railway has revised the original estimate for laying a broad-gauge line between Cuddalore and Puducherry as part of the Chennai – Mahabalipuram-Puducherry-Cuddalore new line project in 2014. It has also admitted that on the alignment of the line to run through the Union Territory, opinion varies between the Southern Railway and the Puducherry government.
An Engineering department official from Southern Railway Hqrs stated this in response to the query raised by the Tamil Nadu – Puducherry Council for Railway Development about the status of the Chennai-Cuddalore rail project.
President of the Council M. Sivasankaran told that the Southern Railway official in his letter stated that earlier it was proposed to construct the broad-gauge line between Puducherry and Cuddalore (Varakkalpattu) at a cost of Rs. 397.51 crore.
However, as per the instruction of the Railway Board the proposed limited-use-subway and the road-over-bridge had been substituted with a level crossing. Accordingly a revised estimate for Rs. 195.86 crore had been prepared and sent to the Railway Board for its consideration. The Puducherry government should coordinate with Tamil Nadu and finalise the corridor and exert pressure on the Railway Board. The Union government has already indicated that only sanctioned projects will get budgetary support. Hence, the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry governments should coordinate for speedy implementation of the project.