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Railways hopes to breathe life into the ghost city of Dhanushkodi

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It’s working to expedite plans to reconstruct the 18-km railway line between Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi

It’s working to expedite plans to reconstruct the 18-km railway line between Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi

Practically 60 years after Dhanushkodi was worn out by a devastating cyclone in 1964, the Indian Railways is working to expedite plans to revive this ghost city by reconstructing the 18-km railway line between Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi.

The Railways has begun the method of buying land for the ₹733-crore mission, for which the muse stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019. About 28.6 hectares are forest land and 43.81 hectares belong to the State authorities, whereas 3.66 hectares are privately held.

The ruins of the deserted station, which have develop into the identification of the city over the previous six a long time, could be razed to make manner for the brand new station, Madurai Division’s Assistant Government Engineer Anand instructed The Hindu. “The ruins should be eliminated…We are able to’t preserve it as a heritage website additionally, just because the brand new railway line is proposed to undergo there,” he stated.

The ruins of the outdated station and the close by space are additionally house to about 300 households residing in makeshift homes with out primary facilities. Mr. Anand stated this was an “encroachment” and these households might want to vacate the land. This land, he stated, was once railway land, however was taken over by the district administration publish the cyclone, and now, the Railways will re-acquire it.

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In keeping with the draft plan, the realm the place these households reside will type the yard of the brand new Dhanushkodi Railway Station, on the tip of Pamban Island, separated from the mainland by the Palk Strait.

The cyclone had washed away the Rameswaram-Dhanushkodi rail observe together with a prepare and different infrastructure, leaving over 100 individuals useless and bringing to a halt a prepare service that offered a significant hyperlink by way of sea between Mandapam in India and Colombo in Sri Lanka, which was simply 18 km away.

As soon as the requisite approvals have been obtained, the mission would take round 18 months to be accomplished, and is anticipated to offer a brand new lease of life to Dhanushkodi by simpler entry. Mr. Anand stated about 20,000 vacationers have been anticipated to go to Rameswaram by 2041, and a big chunk of them have been prone to go to Dhanushkodi as properly.

Whereas the villagers are unsure of what’s in retailer for them and the way the relocation would work out, they imagine Dhanushkodi must be related with the remainder of the nation, particularly given its cultural and spiritual significance. Inside the dilapidated station is a small temple, the place guests might see and contact one of many famed ‘floating stones’ which have been used to assemble the Ram Setu, as per Hindu mythology.

“They haven’t been capable of deliver electrical energy and different primary facilities to the realm for many years. How will they create a railway line?” requested Dhanushkodi resident Karipaswami, who misplaced his complete household within the cyclone, and survived solely as a result of he was in Rameswaram.

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“It will likely be good for Dhanushkodi if the railway line materialises…However there was no improvement within the space for many years,” he added.

In keeping with the proposal which is awaiting approval, an 18-kilometre line can be constructed between Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi – 5 km at floor degree and the remainder elevated observe. The one line can be electrified and related to the broad gauge.

The proposed rail line from Rameswaram can have three halt stations and one terminal station.

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