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Ongoing projects transferred from Nigam to Southern Railway

By S. Vydhianathan

CHENNAI, DEC. 11 . Southern Railway has been asked to take over some on-going gauge conversion and new line laying projects, earlier entrusted to Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (RVNL).

The Railway Ministry in January 2003 formed RYNL as a special-purpose vehicle for speedy execution of some prestigious projects coming under the Golden Quadrilateral.

In Southern Railway, the conversion of the Kumbakonam-Villupuram, construction of a fourth line from Pattabiram to Tiruvallur, a third line from Tiruvallur to Arakkonam and two additional lines between Beach to Athipet were handed over to RVNL.

Subsequently, laying of the fourth line between Pattabiram and Tiruvallur was assigned to the Southern Railway construction wing. It completed the work and the line was opened to traffic a few months ago.

Now the Ministry has decided to transfer a few more projects from RYNL to Southern Railway. According to railway sources, the conversion of the stretch between Kumbakonam and Mayiladuturai in the Villupuram-Kumbakonam section, and the laying of the third line from Tiruvallur to Arakkonam and between Korukkupet and Athipet have been handed over to the zonal railway.

Work on the conversion of the Kumbakonam-Mayiladuturai section would begin in January. The Ministry had sanctioned Rs. 15 crores in the current budget for the purpose. As there are a number of minor and major bridges, it would be possible to take up the work only after January, when water supply to channels from the Mettur reservoir is suspended.

On the additional lines between Tiruvallur and Arakkonam and Korukkupet and Athipet, the sources said these were part of the golden quadrilateral. That was why they were handed over to the RYNL. Now Southern Railway would execute the work.

Lack of infrastructure

Though the Ministry formed RYNL to undertake the bankable projects of the Golden Quadrilateral and port connectivity, it had no infrastructure in Southern Railway. As it would take time for the RYNL to initiate works, the Ministry decided to hand over some of the projects to Southern Railway.

After completing the conversion of the Egmore-Tambaram suburban section a month ago, Southern Railway is now concentrating on conversion of the Madurai-Manamadurai and Thanjavur-Tiruvarur sections.

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