Tuesday, Apr 09, 2002
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By Our Staff Reporter
At a press conference here today, he said the year-long celebrations would be inaugurated in New Delhi on April 15 by the Prime Minister, A. B. Vajpayee. The main programme to be held in Mumbai on April 16 would comprise a `commemorative re-run' of the vintage coaches and steam engine used by the oldest 33 km route of the railways _ from Boribunder to Thane.
The first Jana Shatabdi Express will be flagged off from Mumbai via the Konkan Railway to Madgaon in Goa.
The new train will have newly- designed coaches which were manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai. Depending on coach availability, 16 jana shatabdi trains will be introduced. One was planned from Thiruvananthauram to Ernakulam. The Minister said that the Inter-city express will continue to be operated from Ernakulam to Thiruvananthapuram. An Inter-city express will be introduced to Kozhikode too.
The Minister said a railway museum on the lines of the one in New Delhi, will be set up in Chennai. All stations in Kerala will be decorated for a week from April 16. The programme in Kerala will be held in Thiruvananthapuram on April 25, when the Rs.20 crore development programme would be inaugurated.
On April 28, the Rs. 8-crore project for development of new station building, conversion of metre gauge to broad gauge will be inaugurated at Palakkad Junction.
A touring exibition will be on from August 15 originating from Delhi and would tour all major centres in the country, including Kozhikode.
Refering specifically to the Kozhikode station, the Minister said a second entry, more parking and circulating area, additional platforms and ticket counters, foot-overbridge, etc. were planned. The work on track doubling from Kozhikode to Mangalore except the Netravathi bridge would be completed.
The Minister pointed to the unfeasibility of the Wayanad rail route via Nandangode-Kalpetta- Vadakara. However, a survey would be carried out on the new proposal via Nilambur-Nandangode. This route reportedly would decrease the distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Mysore by 300 km and by 140 km to Bangalore.
A computerised ticket reservation centre could be set up at Kalpetta if the District Collector provided the premises. The railways would provide furniture and other facilities.
Refering to the poor condition of coaches used in Kerala, the minister said coaches of the Mangalore-Chennai Mails had been replaced. Once the summer specials were not needed, these coaches could be deployed. There was a request for change of coaches of the Island Express.
Mr. Rajagopal refused to be drawn into a discussion on the Kadalundi train accident report, saying that it was under the consideration of the Railway Board. Improvements would be carried out on old bridges.
The Indian Railways had registered unprecedented growth with 63,000 km route length at present, running 14,000 trains a day with 140 lakh commuters availing of the services.
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