Railways offers PPP-mode revival of defunct stations

With the Municipal Corporation offering to renovate the defunct Thudiyalur railway station at a cost of Rs 39.85 lakh, residents of colonies along the Coimbatore — Mettupalayam road section want the remaining three stations also to be revived.

After repeated representations, the Southern Railway was now operating three special services in addition to a regular service. There were eight services from Coimbatore to Mettupalayam and from Mettupalayam to Coimbatore and the train has received overwhelming patronage. Mettupalayam People’s Welfare Federation convener T.T. Arangasamy has appealed to Southern Railway to increase the frequency with two more services in either direction and also to operate the services on Sundays. The train service now has only two stoppages at Perianaickenpalayam and Karamadai and the residents’ demand was to revive Veerapandi, Pudupalayam, Thudiyalur and Urumandampalayam railway stations. The Coimbatore — Mettupalayam section has a number of residential colonies, industries and educational institutions accounting for a steep increase in passenger traffic. A stop for these four pairs of trains would serve more passengers, Mr. Arangasamy said.

Meanwhile, the Southern Railway has offered to revive the defunct stations, provided the stations were renovated under the Public — Private Partnership (PPP) mode also known as Shramdhan scheme. As far as Thudiyalur railway station was concerned, the erstwhile Thudiyalur Town Panchayat (presently an added area of Coimbatore Corporation) had passed a resolution to this effect.

Now, the Coimbatore Corporation has also passed a resolution on September 19 to renovate the Thudiyalur station i.e., the station master’s room, platforms and toilet facilities at a cost of Rs 39.85 lakh. The Vellakinar Town Panchayat, vide its communication dated August 16, had communicated its willingness to renovate the Urumandampalayam railway station and provide basic amenities. With regard to Pudupalayam and Veerapandi railway stations, the Railway Struggle Committee and respective local residents’ associations were in talks with philanthropists and corporate houses to seek their contribution for station renovation works.

Mr. Arangasamy also appealed for increasing the platform length at Mettupalayam and Karamadai besides extending the Coimbatore — Mangalore Passenger Train No 56323 and 56324 up to Mettupalayam. With regard to electrification of the section, Railway sources said the scheme was sanctioned in 2012 — 2013 at a cost of Rs 26.08 crore and the tenders had been opened. Railway Electrification, Allahabad, will commence works shortly.


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