Light at end of tunnel for Salem rly division on Nov one

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Chennai, Sep 19 (UNI) The much awaited Salem Railway division would be inaugurated on November one, Minister of State for Railways R Velu said today, even as the Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu were protesting against the inclusion of Pollachi and Kinathukadavu in the Palakkad Railway division.

Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss and Mr Velu, after calling on Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at the latter's residence here, told newspersons that the Chief Minister would inaugurate the division and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad would preside over the function.

The function was originally scheduled for September 14, but could not be held following protests from neighbouring Kerala.

Later, Mr Lalu worked out a solution, allowing inclusion of some areas in Madurai, Pollachi and Kinathukadavu in Palakkad division.

On the controversy over the inclusion of Pollachi and Kinathukadavu areas in the Palakkad division, Mr Velu, when contacted by UNI, said inclusion of these areas with Palakkad division would not affect the interests of Tamil Nadu.

''How does it matter whether the areas are with Palakkad, Madurai or Salem divisions'', he said, adding that all the revenue from these divisions would ultimately come to the Railways.

Mr Velu was reacting to the one-day bandh organised in Pollachi and the rail roko agitation launched by the Marumalarchi DMK (MDMK) against the inclusion of the two areas in Palakkad division.

Earlier, after inspecting the subway works in North Chennai, Mr Velu said work relating to the extension of Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) up to Velachery had been completed and the sector would be thrown open to the public soon.


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