Cement industries seek better Rail Connectivity to Karaikal Port

Cargo from Ariyalur is now sent to Karaikal in a circuitous route via Tiruchi

Tiruchchirappalli: Cement industries in Ariyalur-Tiruchi belt are seeking better rail connectivity to Karaikal Port for quicker cargo movement.

At present, the cargo is being transported through Tiruchi, a circuitous route, to the MARG Karaikal Port. For quicker cargo movement, the Railways has to first connect Ariyalur with Thanjavur.

The three railway sidings of the port, that is turning out to be the trade gateway of central Tamil Nadu, were connected to Tiruchi via Nagore. Major cement industries in Ariyalur district such as Tamil Nadu Cements Corporation Ltd., Madras Cements (Ramco), Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd, Chettinad Cement, Ultra Tech (Birla), and India Cement (Coromandal King-Sankar Sakthi Industries) transport bagged cement through Karaikal owing to its proximity as also other advantages that include absence of pre-berthing delays and faster turnaround times, sources said.

A senior official of Dalmia Cement said that while the doubling project between Karaikal and Tiruchi has been taken up by the Railway Ministry for improving cargo movement, the need for shorter rail connectivity to Karaikal from Ariyalur is being raised at periodic meeting with the Railway officials.

At the time of presentation of the 2016 Railway budget, the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sought a new line between Namakkal and Karaikal via Perambalur and Ariyalur.

The travelling public has been pointing out that the patronage for Thanjavur-Ariyalur rail route via Tiruvaiyaru would be enormous. A rail track in the Thanjavur-Ariyalur sector would not exceed 40 km.

At present, the distance between Ariyalur and Thanjavur via Tiruchi was 125 km.

Members of the Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee have been emphasising the periodic meetings that Ariyalur-Thanjavur line would link the chord line and mainline.