Railway budget mixed bag for Coimbatore

The announcement of a new coach factory to come up in Kerala has brought in some smiles among the industry people in Coimbatore, despite the Railway Budget ruling out any further investments in this region.“The first beneficiary of the new project in our neighbourhood will be the industries in Coimbatore,” according to members of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, D Balasundaram, president, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore Chapter said, “A lot of sub-contracting for engineering accessories will come to Coimbatore. The major requirement is axles and wheels and Coimbatore is the major engineering base.” But he added that since a coach factory is coming to Kerala, a large investment in Coimbatore is unlikely. Sri Gopal Maheswari, honorary secretary, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore Chapter, noted that but for the extension of Coimbatore – Kumbakonam train till Mayiladuthurai, there has been no benefit for Coimbatore.
“We are disappointed because our request for port connectivity, a train to Tuticorin, has not materialized,” he noted. “The containers to Thoothokudi are moving in a circular route and since Coimbatore-Erode route is heavily congested, the gauge conversion can only help,” he pointed out.
Noting that the city’s most important requirement is Coimbatore – Irugur doubling and Coimbatore – Dindigul gauge conversion, they felt that both the works should be expedited.They also said that the Pollachi area would develop only when the gauge conversion work was ready.Welcoming the reduction in fares and also the introduction of new trains, N Sivan, Retired Deputy Chief Engineer, Railways, noted that there has not been much sops for Coimbatore region.The Chamber, recording the overall positives, did feel that there will be no queue for ticket reservation once the proposed single window system was implemented within the next two years.

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