Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will visit poll-bound Tamil Nadu, and Kerala on Sunday to inaugurate the Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I extension and other central public sector projects.
A Railway Ministry statement said that the Prime Minister, apart from Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I extension, completed at a cost of Rs 3,770 crore, will also commission the passenger services from Washermenpet to Wimco Nagar.
It said that the 9.05 km long extension will link north Chennai with the airport and Central Railway Station.
Modi will also inaugurate the fourth Railway line between Chennai Beach and Attipattu.
According to ministry, the 22.1 km section, laid at a cost of Rs 293.40 crore, traverses through Chennai and Thiruvallur districts and will ease out traffic from Chennai Port.
“This section connects the Chennai Port and Ennore Port and passes through major yards, providing operational flexibility for the movement of trains,” it said.
The Prime Minister will also inaugurate the electrification of single line section in Villupuram-Cuddalore-Mayiladuthurai-Thanjavur and Mayiladuthurai-Thiruvarur.
This 228-km-long project has been completed at a cost of Rs 423 crore, and will enable free flow of traffic without the need for a change of traction between Chennai Egmore and Kanyakumari, resulting in saving of Rs 14.61 lakh per day on fuel cost.
Modi will arrive in Kerala from Tamil Nadu in the afternoon and leave for Delhi around 6 p.m.
Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Mansukh L Mandaviya, Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan will share the stage with Modi at an event in Kochi.
The programme includes dedicating BPCL`s Rs 6,000-crore Propylene Derivatives Petrochemicals Project to the nation, launch of Sagarika, the Rs 25 crore Cochin Port`s international cruise terminal, laying the foundation stone for Cochin Port`s reconstruction of the south coal berth and a new knowledge centre of Cochin Shipyard Ltd`s Vigyana Sagar among others.
Modi will in all likelihood attend a party leaders` meet in the state as the assembly polls ares around the corner, where he is expected to give a pep talk to the leaders.
According to sources, state BJP leaders are also expecting a cabinet expansion as polls are to be held in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
At present the lone Keralite in the Modi cabinet is Muraleedharan and state leaders expect that Modi might include one more leader from Kerala besides West Bengal and Assam.
Among the hopefuls are former Union Minister K.J. Alphons, recently inducted former CPI-M and Congress lawmaker A.P. Abdullakutty, former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekheran, present Mizoram Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai and former state party president P.K. Krishnadas.
(With agency inputs)