Chennai, Dec 4 (UNI) A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in Madras High Court today seeking a direction to Southern Railway (SR) to provide an alternative train service Chennai-Tiruchirapalli -Mayiladuthurai in the wake of train services to the latter being stopped due to gauge conversion.
A Division Bench comprising chief justices A P Shah and K Chandru, before whom the PIL filed by Coordinator of the BJP StateLegal Cell, advocate K Rajendran, ordered notice returnable by one week to Secretary, Union Ministry of Railways and SR General Manager.
Mr Rajendran submitted that the SR proposed to convert the Meter Gauge rail route between Villupuram and Mayiladuthurai into Broad Gauge. The people in and around Mayiladuthurai, wholeheartedly, welcomed this project and it was a long awaited demand.
The existing rail route from Chennai-Villupuram-Mayiladuthurai was on the Meter Gauge. Over 3,000 passengers were commuting from Mayiladuthurai to Villupuram and Chennai everyday by this rail route as there were no proper bus facilities.
They included 50,000 construction workers and others working in Chennai, who used the trains monthly or weekly to visit their homes in Mayiladuthurai, besides 7,000 software engineers.
Heart patients and other patients boarded these trains to reach super-speciality hospitals in Chennai. Thousands of pilgrims were also using the trains to visit the ancient Navagraha temples, he added.
From December 1, trains on Chennai-Villupuram-Mayiladuthurai were cancelled for conversion to broad gauge. As Mayiladuthurai was part of the Cauvery delta and the entire area had loose soil, conversion was not likely to be completed in the near future.
When gauge conversion was done between Villupuram to Madurai, the main line was diverted to Villupuram, Cuddalore, Mayiladuthurai, towards Tiruchirapalli and alternative train services were provided to people in those areas.
In the present case there was a broad gauge route between Tiruchirapalli and Mayiladuthurai and Tiruchirapalli and Chennai and the railways could make alternative arrangements.
UNI XR AA SI RS2017