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Road overbridges work will be given to single agency, says Velu

Special Correspondent

“Rs.725 crore has been sanctioned for laying rail track between Tindivanam, Nagari”


Tenders floated for the work on railway bridge to be built across the Cheyyar

No plan to privatise railway services


VANIYAMBADI: The Ministry of Railways has decided to entrust the construction of road overbridges (ROBs) across railway tracks to a single agency to remove bottlenecks and avoid delays in the completion of the projects, R. Velu, Union Minister of State for Railways, said here on Thursday.

Talking to newspersons at the Vaniyambadi Railway Station, Mr. Velu said that hitherto, the practice adopted by the Railways was to have the bridge portion above the railway track built by the railway contractor and entrust the work of constructing the approach road portion on both sides of the railway track to the projects wing of the State Highways Department.

This resulted in lack of coordination between the two agencies and the consequent delay in the implementation of the project.

Therefore, the Railways had decided to entrust the work to a single agency. It had already entrusted to IRCON International, the work on the construction of 36 ROBs sanctioned in Tamil Nadu.

An increased allocation of Rs.725 crore had been sanctioned for laying rail track between Tindivanam and Nagari and tenders floated for the work on the railway bridge to be built across the Cheyyar as part of the project, Mr. Velu said. Construction of major and minor bridges as part of the new rail route would begin soon, he said.

Inspection

On when the Commissioner for Railway Safety (CRS) would be inspecting the broad gauge track laid between Katpadi and Vellore Cantonment Stations, Mr. Velu said the CRS had completed the inspection of the broad gauge track between Tirunelveli and Tiruchendur.

He would be inspecting the Dindigul-Kodai Road, Tiruvarur-Nagore and Katpadi-Vellore Cantonment tracks in that order.

When his attention was drawn to the statement of Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury that the Railways should give up its move to privatise railway services, Mr. Velu said the Railways did not have any plan to privatise the services.

But it had embarked on a public-private partnership in the implementation of some of the railway services such as the operation of container freight services in such a way that both the Railways and the private partner earned profits.

When asked for his comments on the opposition expressed by the Southern Railway Mazdoor Union to the inauguration of an integrated Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS)-cum-Passenger Reservation Centre (PRS) and the provision of separate counters and separate staff for the UTS and PRS at the Vaniyambadi station, Mr. Velu said the policy of the Railways all over the country was to have integrated UTS-cum-PRS centres.

More clerks

In Vaniyambadi, only about 700 tickets were sold every day.

Wherever there is increased workload, the Railways would consider appointment of more commercial clerks, he said.

When told about the contention of the SRMU members that last minute train travellers might miss the train if they were forced to stand in the same queue as that of the advance reservation passengers, he said the Divisional Railway Manager, Chennai, had made arrangements for separate queues for the UTS and PRS passengers and that priority would be given to current booking passengers, who had come to buy tickets for trains a few minutes before their arrival/departure.

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