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Fri Oct 19 10:58:55 IST
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Blog Entry# 3698231
Posted: Aug 09 (21:03)

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Aug 09 (21:03)   ECR rail link to Puducherry gets new life

⭐16105🔄16106 ⭐Chendur express ⭐✡~   17 news posts
Entry# 3698231   News Entry# 350298         Tags   Past Edits
CHENNAI: A decade after the railways announced a plan for a Chennai Perungudi-Cuddalore line along the coast through Mamallapuram and Puducherry, renewed efforts appear to have begun to bring the project to fruition. Southern Railway recently floated a tender to identify contractors for conducting a final location survey and plans for other work.
This will be for the section between Puducherry and Cuddalore stations. The selected contractor will have to prepare a plan for the bridges, yard, and level crossing and conduct sub-soil investigations between the two stations.
As per the latest figures,
the Railway Board has allocated Rs 1200 crore for the 179.28 km railway line, seeking to connect Chennai and other towns and cities along and around East Coast Road (ECR), sources said.
The Puducherry government has reportedly begun the process of freezing the land that would have to be acquired for the project. “After the final location survey is completed to analyse the land and other costs on the Puducherry-Cuddalore section, the local government has to give a go-ahead,” a senior railways official said. The rate of return for the project will also be calculated again, based on which administrative sanction will be given by the Railway Board, the official said.
A final location survey was carried out around seven years ago and the project was estimated to cost around Rs 600 crore.
The project came into renewed focus after railway minister Suresh Prabhu during an event in Chennai in March said the railways was looking into the project again, but appealed to the Tamil nadu government to help out with the funding as part of a joint venture.
Sources in Southern Railway said there were two key issues regarding railway projects in Tamil Nadu. First was land acquisition, which is the responsibility of the state government and progress on which has been really sluggish over the years. Secondly, a majority of new lines or capacity addition projects in Tamil Nadu have had a negative rate of return. This is because freight potential for the lines is less due to lack of natural resources in the state as compared to central or eastern states.
Even in the case of the Chennai-Cuddalore project, there was a suggestion to route it through Chengalpet, to improve its freight potential.
Passenger associations are, however, the most upbeat about the Chennai-Cuddalore line as they expect it to bring down the travel time to Puduchery and Cuddalore by at least an hour, compared to the exisiting circuitous route via Villupuram

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