Erode: Revival of Erode-Palani pending project, a new line from Erode Junction to Mettupalayam via Gobichettipalayam and Sathyamangalam, and start of a fifth platform at the Junction figure prominently in the wish list of the public in Kongu zone of Tamil Nadu for inclusion in the Railway Budget for 2016-17.
Articulating the public expectations, C.S.Gowthaman, Member, Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee, said in a representation to Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu that the Erode-Palani project initiated by the British regime as early as 100 years ago has not been given shape despite the Indian Government acknowledging in principle the viability and profitability of the link.
Stating that a sum of Rs. 2.5 crore had already been utilised for measurement and Rs. 72 crore was promised for the project, Mr. Gowthaman wondered why the Railway Board was hesitant to give its nod. The scheme would substantially benefit people in five districts, he said.
Also, a new railway line connecting Erode Junction and Mettupalayam via Perundurai, Gobichettipalayam, and Sathayamangalam will be viable and beneficial to several thousands of people. Erode being an ‘A’ Grade station servicing over 100 trains every day, there was a dire need to prioritise a fifth station to prevent congestion.
Considering that Sankari Durg Station was being heavily utilised owing to strength of textile sector in Komarapalayam and Bhavani towns as also presence of numerous educational institutions, provision must be made for stoppage of long-distance trains for two to three minutes alongside scaling up infrastructure at the station, Mr. Gowthaman said in a letter addressed to the Minister.
The other requirements included fixing of CCTV cameras in all compartments of express trains to avoid theft and ensuring safety of the passengers; reducing age limit for senior citizens to 58 for men; reduction in fare for passengers travelling in the unreserved compartments of express and long distance trains; a regular day-time train from Coimbatore to Rameshwaram via Erode and Tiruchi; and reduction of cancellation charges for Tatkal ticket, the letter said.