Ooty: Rain damage on NMR line estimated to be Rs.12 crore

Temporary office set up at Coonoor to oversee repair works

Udhagamandalam: The loss on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) line caused by the recent heavy rain and landslips is estimated to be Rs. 12 crore, according to M.S. Jayanth, General Manager, Southern Railway.

Stating this to journalists at Coonoor on Sunday, Mr. Jayanth said that the figure might have to be revised upwards.

The track and other railway property, including buildings and quarters, and about 66 bridges had suffered damage, he said. Landslips occurred at 170 places and trees fell across the track at over 20 places. About 30,000 cubic metres of mud had fallen on the track.

Referring to the suspension of services over the years due to heavy rain, he said that the recent rain was the heaviest and the damage caused was very heavy. A temporary office of the Salem Railway Division had been opened at Coonoor to oversee repair and restoration works.

While the Ooty-Coonoor section was likely to be thrown open for traffic within about two months, the Coonoor-Mettupalayam section would take several months.

Efforts would be made to get it ready by 2010 summer tourist season.

Mr. Jayanth said that in view of the tourist importance of this hill station, automatic vending machines would be set up in Ooty and Coonoor by next year.

Experiments with two engines would continue after the rack and pinion system was repaired.

The possibility of extending the Cheran Express to Mettupalayam would be explored.

Earlier, Mr. Jayanth, accompanied by senior officials including the Divisional Railway Manager, Salem. P.N. Ram, inspected some of the affected areas.

From THE HINDU

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