Rail Budget gives Coimbatore a slip, again

Our Bureau Coimbatore | Updated on February 25, 2011

The trade and industry has voiced disappointment over the Railway Budget again giving a slip to Coimbatore despite the contribution the region makes to the railway exchequer by way of both freight and passenger traffic.

Other than meeting one of the long-pending demands for a direct train service to Tuticorin, albeit through a link express, the Budget has ignored most of the demands of the people of the area.

In a statement, Mr R.R. Ranghanathen, President, the Southern India Engineering Manufacturers' Association (SIEMA), Coimbatore, said the Budget presented by the Railway Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, today did not address the demands like an over-night train to Bangalore and Thiruvananthapuram, passenger trains to Palakkad and Erode, train to Jodhpur via Bangalore. He pointed out that as Coimbatore was second in revenue generation in Southern Railway and a business centre, necessary facilities should be provided and more trains must be introduced.

He, however, welcomed the announcement of a link train from Coimbatore to Tuticorin and continuation of the Coimbatore-Mettupalayam service and lauded the new train services/projects announced in the Budget.

Mr A. Sakthivel, President, Tirupur Exporters' Association, felt that leaving passenger fares untouched for all classes should be welcomed in the current economic scenario and maintaining the freight rate at the same level will benefit the industry. But he pointed out that there was no announcement about introduction of new trains to this region except the introduction of link Express from Coimbatore to Tuticorin. The long-pending demand for introduction of train service from Coimbatore to Bangalore was given a miss and there was no specific announcement on infrastructure development in this region.

Mr. M. Krishnan, President, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, was also aggrieved over the continued neglect of Coimbatore despite it being a major industrial, educational, healthcare and tourism destination.

He said the demand for the introduction of an over-night express train between Coimbatore and Bangalore and a train from Coimbatore to Jodhpur, upgradation of Coimbatore Junction and North Coimbatore Railway Station ‘have not been considered at all'.

Mr Krishnan appealed to the Railway Minister to consider the demands of the people here on a priority basis and commence the running of the Coimbatore-Tuticorin train at the earliest.

Published on February 25, 2011

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