Chennai-Mysuru High Speed Rail to hit fund hurdle?

Bangalore (SBC): The Chennai-Mysuru semi high-speed line could take time to take off as the  feasibility study by Chinese railway company might cite financial and technical difficulties, according to Railway Board and Zonal officials.

Interacting with mediapersons here on Friday, Railway Board Additional Member (Works) Laj Kumar and Chennai Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) declined to share details of the study, but said ‘cost implications, technical feasibility and availability of funds’ were factors in its execution. “No rough time-frame can be given and it will take time,” Sharma said. The Chennai-Delhi bullet train, discussed during Prime Minister Modi’s recent Chinese visit, was also at a premature stage, they indicated.

Sharma and Laj Kumar also declined to reveal the Railway Ministry’s plans to do away with the concept of Premium Tatkal and trains, but said talks were in progress.

However, when asked about lack of funds for executing capacity addition and electrification in Tamil Nadu, Kumar said the Ministry had allocated Rs 100 crore more for the zonal railway this year.

The Chief Administrative Officer (construction), Southern Railway,  R Venkadasamy, revealed that the Tamil Nadu government had shown excitement and eagerness regarding the four projects submitted by Southern Railway to secure funding during the Global Investors Meet (GIM). “TN government officials also wanted funds allocation for a semi-high speed railway line between Chennai-Coimbatore and Chennai-Kanyakumari,” Venkadasamy said. Railway Board officials have conducted meetings with the TN chief secretary, state industries secretary as well as the CMD of Chennai Metro Rail, he added.