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Minister reviews Salem-Karur rail line project works

Staff Reporter

‘Works will be completed by October 2011'



Spot visit:Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare S. Gandhiselvan (left) reviewing the Salem-Karur broad gauge rail line works with Chief Engineer of Southern Railway, Chennai,

Namakkal: Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare S. Gandhiselvan expressed confidence that the Salem-Karur rail line project executed at the cost of Rs. 685 crore would be completed by October 2011.

He made this statement after reviewing the progress of works at Rasipuram and N Kosavampatti near Namakkal along with railway officials on Tuesday. He stated that the work that was sanctioned in 1996-97 has been split into three phases – Salem to Namakkal, Namakkal to Mohanur and Mohanur to Karur – of which the first phase would be completed by the end of March. Trial run for this phase would also be conducted around March 31, he added.

Major portion of the second phase between Namakkal and Mohanur was expected to be completed before the end of April, he said. Mr. Gandhiselvan said that this year the project had attracted Rs. 169 crore of which Rs. 139 crore has already been spent for the construction and land acquisition activities. Senior railway officials who were part of the review team however said that in the last 14 years 70 per cent of the works has been completed . However, they said that the machinery was putting the best of efforts to complete the remaining 30 per cent in the next 50 days though the time frame may not be adequate.

They explained that the major problem faced by them at this moment was blasting the rocky stretch that lays nearly 20 meters deep for a stretch of about three kilometres from at Mallur - that partly lies in Namakkal and Salem districts. “We managed to complete blasting for a stretch of one kilometre (from 17 to 18) while the rest has been delayed due to a revision in the Explosive Materials Act”, they said.

Opposition from the locals on using explosives for drilling through this rocky stretch has also been an issue of concern, they added. District Collector S. Madumathi, District Revenue Officer R. Seethalakshmi, Chief Engineer of Southern Railways(Chennai) A.K. Kandelwal, Deputy Chief Engineer (Salem) R. Nandhakumar, district administrative officers, revenue and railway officials were also present during the inspection.

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