Indian Prime Minister inaugurates Talai Mannar Railway Line
Monday, 16 March 2015 02:56
Ircon International completes entire railway line reconstruction in the Northern Province
The newly built railway track between Madhu Road and Talai Mannar Pier covering a distance of 63 kilometres was commissioned and dedicated to the public of Sri Lanka by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi at a grand ceremony held at Talai Mannar Pier Station on 14 March. Modi unveiled the plaque to mark the historic occasion and then flagged off the train at 12 noon in the presence of Minister of Internal Transport Ranjith Madumma Bandara, Minister of Commerce and Industry Rishad Bathiudeen and Deputy Minister of Internal Transport M.S. Thowfeek.
Modi, who is on a tour of four island nations, namely Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives and Sri Lanka, arrived in Sri Lanka for a two day state visit to the island nation commencing 13 March. The visit has tremendous significance as an Indian Prime Minister is visiting Sri Lanka after a lapse of more than 27 years.
The train journey on the newly constructed track, funded under a soft Indian Credit Line, started from Talai Mannar Pier and ended at Madhu Road Station, with the distance being covered in a period of little less than 45 minutes. The inaugural run of the train was attended by senior officials from the Ministry of Internal Transport, Sri Lankan Railways, Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau and the executing agency, Ircon International Ltd.
Ircon International Ltd Chairman and Managing Director Mohan Tiwari was present himself at the Talai Mannar Pier Station to oversee the preparations for the inaugural run of the train. He expressed his satisfaction on the completed projects and expressed his gratitude to the Govt. of Sri Lanka for entrusting such a mega project to Ircon and providing an opportunity to contribute in the development of railway infrastructure in Sri Lanka.
Ircon International Ltd Project Director S.L. Gupta said that consequent to the opening of the Talai Mannar Line, Ircon has completed the entire reconstruction works of the Rail Links in the Northern Province along with the installation of the Signalling and Telecommunications system. These projects comprising of the reconstructing of 265 km of railway track, along with the construction of more than 400 major and minor bridges, station buildings, platforms and supply of locomotives were completed in four years.
The commissioning of train services up to Talai Mannar Pier which now establishes a direct train link with Colombo after a gap of more than 25 years has fulfilled the much awaited dream of the people from these parts of the country. In future this line is likely to provide a vital link to Sri Lankans vis a vis availing themselves of the ferry services for travelling to India. The excitement and happiness of the local public was amply demonstrated during the inaugural train run all along its route.
This track corridor has five crossing stations at Murukan, Mannar, Pesalai, Talai Mannar and Talai Mannar Pier along with three halt stations at Mathotam, Thirukeeteeswaram and Thoddaveli.