Shri John Thomas, General Manager, Southern Railway along with Principal Heads of Departments held a virtual Press Meet in connection with allocation for Southern Railway in Finance Budget 2021-22.
The General Manager gave a presentation on the budget allocations for Southern Railway, starting with the 6 pillars of Budget 2021-22. He stated that the main highlight of the this year’s budget is that Indian Railways has been allocated an amount of Rs. 1,07,300 crores under Gross budgetary support (GBS). Of which Southern Railway has been allocated a substantial amount of Rs. 3,855 crores including Stores and Manufacture Suspense and he stated that allocation under capital/GBS is very key as the land acquisition for doubling and new lines have to be done under capital. This will give a fillip to the infrastructure in Southern Railway.
In this year’s Budget outlay, Rs.1206.04 crores has been earmarked for Doubling Projects and Rs.178 crores has been earmarked for Gauge Conversion Projects. Outlining that a record amount of Rs. 224.57 crores has been allotted for Passenger Amenities for the year 2021-22 in Southern Railway, the General Manager detailed that this is a 13.35% increase over last year’s grant, out of which a considerable amount of Rs.89 crores have been earmarked for soft up gradation and Rs.87.52 Crores have been earmarked for Foot Over Bridges and raising of Platforms.
He also spoke on the National Rail Plan and Vision 2024 of Indian Railway. National Rail plan aims to develop capacity, infrastructure and enhance rail freight share ahead of demand. Such capacity is to be developed by 2030 and it will cater to demand till year 2050. This will be done in two leaps- first leap by 2024 and second leap by 2030. Vision 2024 has identified various projects that need to fast tracked to achieve a loading of 2024 MT for Indian Railway by year 2024 amongst other targets. General Manager outlined Southern Railway’s share and contribution in building the national Rail infrastructure. The Budget 2021-22 is a step in the right direction in achieving this vision and in making Railway future ready.
In Tamil Nadu, 27 on GOING projects costing Rs.30,961 crores over 3,128 kms length falling fully/partly in the state are under different stages of planning/execution.
Some of the projects in Tamil Nadu under the Vision 2024 are:
·Chennai Beach – Attipattu 4th Line and Chengalpattu – Villupuram Doubling which are completed.
·Omalur – Metturdam Doubling got an allocation of Rs.25.5 crores and is targeted for completion in March 21.
·Salem – Magnesite – Omalur doubling got Rs.35 crores and is targeted for completion in August 2022.
·New line projects of Madurai – Tuticorin via Aruppukkottai and Rameswaram – Dhanushkodi line got Rs.20 crores and Rs.75 crores respectively.
·The doubling of Maniyachi – Nagercoil got Rs.200 crores and the Madurai – Maniyachi – Tuticorin doubling got Rs. 300 crores in this year’s budget.
In Kerala, 9 on GOING projects costing Rs.8,799 crores over 458 kms length falling fully/partly in the stae are under different stages of planning/execution.
Some of the projects in Kerala under the Vision 2024 are:
·Kurupanthara – Chingavanam doubling which got Rs.170 crores
·Ambalapuzha – Haripad Doubling which got Rs.15 crores and is targeted for completion in March 2021. Besides these, the
·Turavur – Ambalapuzha doubling, Kumbalam – Thuravur Patch doubling and Ernakulam – Kumbalam doubling got Rs.10 crores each
·Trivandrum – Kanniyakumari doubling got Rs.275 crores.
The Karnataka portion of Southern Railway in Mangalore also got covered in this year’s budget as Kankanadi – Panambur doubling got Rs.40 crores and is targeted for completion by May 2021. Besides this, under Vision 2024 an additional Platform Line, and provision of new 24 coach pit line in lieu of existing 18 coach pit line at Mangalore Central under traffic facility works are in progress and is targeted for completion by March 2022.
General Manager also highlighted that Southern Railway will complete electrification of all the broad gauge route in its jurisdiction by Dec-2023.He pointed out that an allocation of Rs. 146 crores will give a big push for Signal & Telecom Infrastructure. Major works involves setting up of Modern centralised Train Control System in Chennai- Gudur and Chenni – Renigunta route, Train Collision and Avoidance System (TCAS), LTE and Train Management System. He also stated that vistadome coaches will be introduced in the scenic sections which are to be identified.