New Delhi: Senior DMK leader and Lok Sabha MP TR Baalu has demanded new rail link projects for Tamil Nadu in the coming Rail Budget, a new railway terminal in Rayapuram and making bi-weekly Chennai-Rajdhani a daily service.
   
In a memorandum to Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, Baalu has demanded Rs 200 crore for the Villupuram -Tiruchirappalli Dindigul doubling work, Rs 150 crore for Villupuram - Chengalppattu doubling work and Rs 65 crore Velankanni - Tirukuvalai - Tiruthuralpoondi new line among others for their speedy execution.
   
He also demanded undertaking survey work for a new link between Kumbakonam and Viruddhachalam via Jayankondam and construction of a new line between Karaikal and Peralam through PPP mode while regretting that not much attention was paid to the state by railways to meet its growing requirements.
   
He said that as Karaikal port has emerged as a major port, there was an urgent need to develop this alternative route to meet the growing freight business of this port.
   
Baalu sought "a new passenger train from Mannargudi to Tirupati and conversion of the existing bi-weekly Chennai Rajdhani express as a daily train".
   
Besides, he sought conversion of bi-weekly New Delhi Kanniyakumari Tirukkural express train into a daily train in keeping with the demand of the Tamil speaking people in the national capital or a new service connecting Delhi to Kanyakumari.

Baalu also sought adequate funds for setting up of a second factory in Chennai as promised in the Railway Budger of 2009.
   
Stating that train services in the Thanjavur - Thiruchirapalli sector is over saturated to the extent of 148 percent, he demanded "top priority" from railways for laying additional lines in this sector.
   
"The train services in this sector are saturated and I am receiving lot of complaints from railway users especially from chamber of commerce, traders and student community. Hence I request that the railways should give top priority to lay additional lines in this sector without any loss of time," he said in his memorandum.
   
He also demanded stoppages of major trains at Devakottal Rasta railway station as the extension of platform to accommodate 24 coach trains is complete.
   
While expressing his displeasure over non infusion of sufficient fund for the Tambaram rail terminal in Chennai city, the DMK leader sought release of funds for the project.
   
He also demanded making Rayapuram as the fourth terminal in the city, the oldest terminal established by the British in 1856 which at present is lying in a dilapidated state.
   
Referring to about 13 trains which were diverted to Kerala by-passing Coimbatore, he demanded that all such diverted trains be run via Coimbatore once again.
   
These trains were diverted during the construction of the doubling work between Irugur and Coimbatore. However, "since the doubling work is over, the demand of the chamber of commerce, public Representatives and railway users to call back the diverted trains to Coimbatore is very much logical," he said in his memorandum to the Railway Minister.

(Agencies)