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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Train runs over 3 sleeping on railway track ~ the story of Dalmiapuram / Kallakudi


Indian Railways have a very vast network…. Once in a while, you will read of instances of people ending their lives by jumping before the train or placing their head on the rails to be killed by a passing train… One cannot ask ‘what is in a name’…. heard of this small township around 40 kms near Tiruchi…. Kallakudi, a political upheaval that took place changed the fate of Tamil Nadu taking away the rule from Congress to others.

Sure, you have heard of Dalmia Group of Companies, which are in existence from 1930s.  Founded by the late Ramkrishna Dalmia, with the assistance of his younger brother Jaidayal Dalmia and his son-in-law Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain, the group has its presence in multifarious industries with main emphasis on Cement, Chemicals, Sugar, Jute and more…  The Group’s greatest contribution to national development was in the emergence of the Indian cement industry.  It has set up  cement factories  in Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Tamilnadu, Karachi, Sawai Madhopur and ……  In 1943, the Group established the Bharat Bank Ltd., which on the basis of authorised capital, became the biggest bank of its time.

The Dalmia family traces its roots to a town in Rajasthan, known as Chirawa. Traditionally, the Dalmias belong to the community loosely known as Marwaris, a term commonly used to denote businessmen hailing from the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan and neighbouring districts of Haryana. Though Marwar is a geographical region and former kingdom in Rajasthan, the term Marwaris gained coinage as a description of the business community from Shekhawati rather than an indication of geographical origin. Dalmia people later spread to many regions of India and abroad. 

Early this year, there were reports of Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd planning to invest Rs 1,800 crore for expansions over the next two years. It was reported that Coy. Ws set to invest Rs 1,300 crore for its upcoming 2.5 million tonne greenfield project at Belgaum, Karnataka, and go in for Rs 500 crore  capacity expansion. It strengthened its base in East by acquiring Meghalaya-based Adhunik Cement with an investment of nearly Rs 560 crore; also increased its stake in Calcom Cement in Assam.

In 1960s, it was a different incident… it was the rail-roko that was staged at Dalmiapuram – a small town between Ariyalur and Lalgudi on the Madras-Trichy rail route.  Reason: - North Based Dalmia Cements were setting up a cement plant near Ariyalur and the protest was to prevent the entry of North based/Non TN based companies setting up a factory here...Congress was in Power at the centre and Mu  Karunanidhi  spearheaded the agitation that was to launch him in to higher pedestals later. Mr Karunanidhi was arrested and  sent to Palayamkottai Prison

That the small almost non-existent town rose to greater heights due to the setting up the plant, providing employment to many in the region is a different story altogether.  Because of the plant, the  town/station were to be called ‘Dalmia Puram’. Decades later when DMK was in power, the station was rechristened 'Kallakudi Palaganatham'

While people putting end to their lives before electric trains is heard of, this particular news in TOI dt 20.5.13, triggered some of the above thoughts……. ‘Train runs over 3 persons sleeping on railway track in Tamil Nadu’

It is reported that three persons were on Monday run over by a train when they were sleeping on a railway track at an unmanned crossing gate near here, police said. The tragedy took place when the Nagore-Bangalore train was passing through Tiruvarur-Mayiladuthurai-Nagapattinam section at Athipuliyur at 4.30am, police said.

But what made people sleeping on the railway track!……. Very eerie indeed.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st May 2013

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