Days ahead of the railway budget, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa reportedly urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expedite rail projects in the state that are pending due to lack of funds.
Jayalalithaa wrote to Modi, seeking sufficient funds allocation for the 20 railway projects announced in the earlier rail budget. Under the Tamil Nadu Vision 2023, she listed 10 projects, of which the state government has prioritised three — Chennai-Tuticorin Freight Corridor, Chennai-Madurai-Kanyakumari and Madurai to Coimbatore High Speed passenger rail links, The New Indian Express reported.
"I request you to expedite these railway projects and allocate sufficient funds in the budget for completion of the projects early. I hope that the ensuing railway budget will fulfil the long pending expectations of the travelling public of Tamil Nadu," PTI quoted Jayalalithaa as saying.
She further said the Ministry of Railways' draft MoU needs revision as it does not reflect the concerns raised by the Tamil Nadu government regarding the formation of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for three projects.
"Given the importance of these three projects, the Tamil Nadu government has already indicated that it would be willing in principle to enter into an MoU with the Indian Railways to set up an Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to promote these projects, which are also part of the Madurai-Tuticorin Industrial Corridor. We had also indicated some specific conditions for the establishment of the SPV," the NIE quoted Jayalalithaa as saying.
She also put forward the Tamil Nadu government's conditions over equity contributions in cash or land. She requested the prime minister to ensure Tamil Nadu receives funding for the projects without any delay.
"In the draft MoU circulated by the Ministry of Railways, these concerns are not adequately reflected. The draft MoU would require revision before it becomes acceptable to the government of Tamil Nadu," PTI quoted Jayalalithaa as saying.
"I request you to kindly direct the concerned officials of the Ministry of Railways to engage in constructive discussions on evolving a fair, balanced and acceptable draft of the MoU," she said.