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COVID echo: Railway electrification project may be delayed

TIRUCHI

The completion of the overhead electrification project on the Tiruchi – Pudukottai broad gauge section is likely to get delayed due to the spike in COVID-19 cases. The pace of the ongoing electrification works taken up on the nearly 60 kilometres stretch, which were proceeding swiftly till last month, have now apparently slowed down.

Many migrant labourers who were deployed for the project had left for their respective home States in the wake of the lockdown clamped as a sequel to the sharp rise in the viral infection.

The Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE), coming under the Ministry of Railways, has been entrusted with the task of electrifying the Tiruchi – Pudukottai – Karaikudi – Manamadurai – Virudhunagar broad gauge section following sanction from the Railway Board, New Delhi.

The project began in right earnest on the Tiruchi – Pudukottai – Karaikudi stretch. Electric poles were installed on the entire stretch from Tiruchi to Pudukottai and wiring works connecting the masts were also on. However, the pace of the project had now got reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, say railway sources.

The project was now being carried out with existing labourers as many migrant workers who were deployed for the overhead electrification works had left for their respective home states in view of the current situation in the State, said the railway sources.

The CORE had initially planned to complete the overhead electrification works on the Tiruchi – Pudukottai stretch by June. However, in view of the present scenario the completion of entire works up to Pudukottai was likely to get delayed by a month. The works were expected to get over in July, the sources added.

The CORE was simultaneously carrying out electrification works on the Pudukottai – Karaikudi stretch. Nearly 50 % of the mast installation works on this stretch had been completed so far, said the sources and added that the entire works up to Karaikudi from Pudukottai were likely to get over in three months.

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