EVEN before the IT SEZ planned by the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot) could take shape, there seems to be a big rush for IT space among various corporates and developers in the city.

While city-based corporates like the Bannari Amman Group, Salzer group and KG group have come out with their plans on the IT front, many new commercial developers have also joined the bandwagon by getting formal SEZ approvals for their proposed projects. Coimbatore Hi-Tech Infrastructure is planning to develop an IT SEZ over 60.73 acres at Keeranatham village and Span Ventures has got formal approval for 10.5 acres IT/ITeS SEZ at Eachanari.

The state-owned Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (Tidco), is also planning an IT park in the city suburbs. Rakindo Developers, a 50-50 joint venture between Vishwatej Projects and Rakeen, UAE, along with Tidco has proposed to develop feeder township, residential and leisure facilities over 625 acres in the villages of Sundakamuthur, Perur Chettipalayam and Thithipalayam.

The group also plans to promote an IT park on 25 acres at Perur village at Chettipalayam in south Coimbatore district. Bannari Group plans to develop an IT SEZ over 78 acres at Kalapatty village in Coimbatore and has got formal approval for around 60 acres. The entire process is likely to be completed in the next few months. Salzer plans to develop 1 lakh sq.ft. IT park in association with a US-based consulting service provider while KG group has acquired around 160 acres near its existing campus at Saravanampatty for developing it as an ITES SEZ. I

According to sources in the property development business, by the end of 2009, approximately 10-15 million sq.ft, of new IT/ITeS space will enter the Coimbatore market.
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  • Construction worker killed in accident TNN | Updated: May 21, 2018, 13:17 IST
    Representative image

    TIRUPUR: A 48-year-old construction worker succumbed to his injuries on Sunday after he fell from a 20ft high roof in the city on Friday.

    S Palanikumar of Chinnagounder Pudur was employed to repair an asbestos roof in a knitwear unit at Parappalayam on Mangalam Road in the city on May 15. While doing the repairing works, Palanikumar fell from the roof and sustained injuries on his head. He was rushed to a hospital. He was declared on Friday.

    The Tirupur central police booked the unit’s owner Aswin and the contractor S Ananthakumar under section 304 (A) of IPC for their negligence.








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  • Coimbatore designer's wooden bicycle becomes an instant hit Vishnu Swaroop| TNN | Updated: May 21, 2018, 10:52 IST
    P K Murugesan rides his wooden bicycle

    COIMBATORE: There is no doubt that necessity is the mother of invention! Otherwise, this Coimbatore-based interior designer wouldn't have come up with wooden bicycles.

    Last year, when P K Murugesan, 33, searched for a new frame for his bicycle that was damaged during transit, he couldn't find one. This led him to design a frame using engineered wood or plywood.

    In the process, he decided to modify his bicycle completely using wood, except for the crucial parts such as the handle bar and the seat.


    "I started it as an experiment. Also, as I had interest in environmental issues, I thought making a wooden bicycle would attract people's attention (to bicycles), as they are one of the most important ways to tackle vehicular emissions," Murugesan said.

    As he expected, when Murugesan took his wooden bicycle out for a ride, it grabbed people's attention. "People started stopping me on road and asked me about the cycle. Many wanted one made for them," he said. It took Murugesan around 15 days to sketch the design and fabricate the first wooden bicycle. "It cost me around 25,000 to make the first one. But I am planning to improve the design, which would bring down the cost to 18,000," Murugesan said. He also has plans to register his design and start a firm.
    In the first wooden bicycle he made, Murugesan used the tyres of city terrain bikes, which are suitable to ride only on paved surfaces. "In the forthcoming design, I am planning to use multi-terrain bike tyres which would be suitable for long rides too," he said.








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  • 100 wetlands to be protected in state TNN | Updated: May 22, 2018, 00:28 IST
    As many as a hundred waterbodies in the state will get an additional protective ring as the State Wetland Authority is all set to notify them as ‘priority wetlands’, bringing in a series of measures for better conservation. After the notification, these wetlands will become protected waterbodies and intensive conservation measures will be taken to maintain and improve them. Forty-nine wetlands have already been selected and documentation of data that includes information such as area of the wetland, its boundaries, biodiversity information and ecological values is under way.

    The Coimbatore-based Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural history (SACON), which was entrusted with the selection and study of these wetlands, has been allotted Rs10 lakh for the purpose. In Coimbatore, 4 lakes – Sulur, Singanallur, Sengulam and Sundakkamuthur – have been chosen to be declared as priority wetlands.

    Once these lakes are notified, activities such as dumping of sewage, garbage and construction debris will be stopped. "Development activities will not be taken up without the approval of the authority. Once notified, it was not just the wetlands but the entire supply channels from the foothills till the wetlands will be conserved,’’ said a senior forest officer.

    In Tamil Nadu, as per a study by SACON in 1991 there are 1,175 wetlands that cover 1.24% of the total area. Of these, 12 have been declared as bird sanctuary and these wetlands come under the Wildlife Protection Act. "Out of the remaining wetlands, based on their ecological services, dependence of community, bio diversity, importance and other benefits, these waterbodies will be selected for notification. Of this, already 49 have been selected and a report is being prepared by SACON," said V S Vijayan, trustee of Salim Ali Foundation.

    As per the state government officials in the forest department, SACON submitted its initial report on wetlands on Sunday. "We will study the document and take further steps," said Jayanthi, member secretary of State Wetland Authority. This document details all the data about the selected wetlands such as its area, ecological important, species of flora and fauna recorded, activities carried out, community dependent on the wetland and similar information. In another three months, the authority will also notify these 100 wetlands. This is the first major task entrusted with State Wetland Authority, which was formed in 2016. The authority was formed based on a Supreme Court direction hearing a public interest litigation filed in 2001.

    The authority is headed by the minister of environment and forests as chairperson and chief secretary as vice-chairperson. The member secretary is from the forest department and secretaries of various departments are members.

    Environmentalists said that it was very important to notify the wetlands to protect them. "Ecological components in an urban environment are very important. Such laws help activists to promote conservation activities. These policies are important as it will act as a deterrent for violators," said Joseph Reginald of the Centre for Urban Biodiversity Conservation.








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  • Priority wetlands to have 50m buffer zone Komal.Gautham | Updated: May 22, 2018, 00:29 IST


    The 100 notified wetlands will have a buffer zone of 50metres around it. In this buffer zone, construction of a permanent nature except for boat jetties will not be allowed. The fifty metres will be calculated from the mean high flood level observed in the past ten years.

    Under various Acts such as the Wild Life Protection Act, Forest Regulation Act, and Coastal Regulation Zone Notification a few waterbodies have been protected. But urban wetlands do not come under any of these regulations. Rampant dumping of construction debris, solid waste, construction, encroachments, conversion of land and various other illegal activities including excessive fishing and closure of various supply channels of the lakes will be stopped. "These can be legally tackled once the wetland is notified," said an official.

    K Mohanraj, an environmentalist, said this buffer zone is very important but he said 100 was a meager number for Tamil Nadu. "There are more than 30,000 wetlands in Tamil Nadu. 100 is a small number. We hope that this notification is extended to more water bodies as several wetlands are of high ecological importance," he said.

    But activists said that the existing developmental activities around the lakes will pose as a major challenge for the authority. "In Coimbatore, the area around the lakes is very less. In some places, it is just one metre. In some wetlands, there are railway tracks, roads and even bus stands have been set up. So these should be removed," said Mohanraj.

    Activists said that in other cities such as Bengaluru around Banswadi Lake several buildings were demolished that had encroached upon the lake. "Further orders for demolition around other city lakes in Bengaluru have also been issued," said an activist.

    Bhaskar of I C Centre for Governance said that under the smart city project, the city corporation had taken up eight lakes for development. "These buffer zones should be taken into consideration before further development takes place. Once the lakes are rejuvenated, the real estate prices in these areas will shoot up sharply. Politicians and policy makers will be the ones who would benefit the most. So the authority should ensure that the area around the lake is not misused as in the past," he said.











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  • Anamalai Tiger Reserve to get bigger by 146sqkm Rajasekaran RK| Rajasekaran.RK | Updated: May 22, 2018, 00:31 IST


    Tirupur: Area under the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) will be expanded from 958.59sqkm to 1,104sqkm with the state government directing Kodaikanal wildlife sanctuary in Dindigul district to handover 146sqkm from its buffer zone.

    ATR, one of four tiger reserves in Tamil Nadu, spreads across Pollachi, Valparai and Udumalpet taluks in Coimbatore and Tirupur districts. It was known as the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park before it was declared a tiger reserve in 2007.

    “As per the national tiger conservation authority, entire core and buffer areas should be functioning under one unit administration, so that equal treatment and protection could be provided effectively. But the buffer areas of ATR were administered under different units. So, the government has directed Kodaikanal wildlife sanctuary to handover 146 sq km, a part of buffer area, to ATR. It includes Palani forest range-Andipatti west and east, Kudhiraiyaru east and west, Periyammapatti and Kavalapatti, Poombarai range-Kookal, and Vantharavu range-Pulavachiyar, Polur, Kathirka Odai and Gudalur,” a senior forest department official said.

    The expansion will help ATR, which is under constant threat from sandalwood smugglers and illegal ganja plantations, to tighten security apart from providing better management, the official said.

    “The administration of the added area will be transferred to ATR, which is controlled by a field director, who works at its headquarters in Pollachi. However, the added area will be directly supervised by the assistant field director (district forest officer) from Udumalpet in Tirupur,” the official told TOI.

    Though the direction has been issued, Kodaikanal sanctuary was taking time to handover the area, which should happen along with the transfer of the forest personnel, the official added.

    With the expansion, ATR may still remain the third largest protected area in Tamil Nadu. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve of Erode lead the list and is followed by Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts.








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  • Corporation launches drive to bring down illegal hoardings across city tnn | Updated: May 23, 2018, 00:40 IST


    Coimbatore: With unauthorised hoardings mushrooming in the city again, civic activists have filed a petition with the city corporation seeking action against the violators. In the last 15 days alone, the corporation had removed about 168 such hoardings installed across the city.

    Corporation officials said that they have launched an extensive drive to remove illegal hoardings. “We removed most of these hoardings from residential areas. Several building owners had set them up without getting no-objection certificate from the corporation and the police department,” an assistant town planning officer said.

    Corporation officials said that since October 2016, as many as 1,198 hoardings were removed from the east zone, 2,247 from the west zone, 1,006 from north zone, 158 from south zone and 1,805 from central zone. “A total of 6,414 hoardings were removed and we are continuing the drive,” he told TOI.

    As per norms, those who want to set up an advertisement hoarding should get permission from several departments if it is on government buildings. To set up temporary hoardings, an application has to be submitted to the revenue divisional officer/sub-collector concerned, enclosing the NOC from the building owner or AEE/ADE (for government buildings), NOC from the police station concerned and the challan for payment of licence fee for 15 days before the erection of the hoarding. After scrutiny of the application, permission would be granted for erecting the hoarding for a maximum of six days. The revenue earned is shared by the corporation and the district administration.

    Real estate companies and apartment owners still install hoardings along city roads and inside their campuses without getting permission, civic activist SP Thiyagarajan said. “Apart from causing road accidents and traffic violations, the illegal hoardings lead to huge revenue loss to the government,” he said.








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  • City corpn’s smart display board project hits hurdles tnn | Updated: May 23, 2018, 00:39 IST


    Coimbatore: The city corporation’s ambitious smart board project is facing several hurdles. While social activists have filed a petition against it, the highways department has warned the corporation against setting up the boards along roads.

    The civic body had proposed setting up of 30 digital boards to display information on tax payment, pollution level, rules and regulations, awareness messages and even real-time traffic details last year. The work order for the project, which will be implemented under public-private partnership (PPP), was also issued. The corporation was planning to use information and communications technology (ICT) to display all the information in the corporation website on the boards. It was also eyeing the revenue generated by displaying advertisements on the boards.

    Meanwhile, K Kathirmathiyon of Coimbatore Consumer Cause issued a notice to the civic body and various departments stating that the boards cannot be set up as they are against not just the high court order prohibiting setting up of advertisement boards on highways, but also against the Indian Road Congress norms and Coimbatore city municipal corporation act.

    As per the Indian Road Congress norms, any advertisement that is illuminated, containing flashing, moving lights, intermittent lights except those giving public service information such as time, temperature, weather or date are prohibited.

    Also, the municipal administration and water supply department issued a warning this month to the city corporation and district collector to remove all unauthorised advertisement boards and to not provide any no-objection certificate to such boards.

    Kathirmathiyon told TOI that the corporation violated all norms by issuing work order and allowing maintenance for 15 years when norms specified that permanent hoardings or boards can only be set up for a maximum of three years. “I will file a contempt petition and also call for an inquiry into this work order,” he said.

    Meanwhile, corporation officials said that they had specified all the norms in the tender document. “The clause for 15-year maintenance is only because the company needs to generate revenue from these boards,” an official said.








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  • Wildlife census kickstarts in ATR TNN | May 24, 2018, 00:53 IST
    Tirupur: Employing 162 people including forest staff and volunteers, the district forest department has formed 42 groups for the animal census that began in Anamalai Tiger Reserve on Tuesday. It will continue till May 28.

    The survey will be conducted in Udumalpet and Amaravathi forest ranges.

    Students from various colleges are also volunteering, a forest officer said. “The participants will take a note of both direct and indirect records. They will register details of animals and also record indirect markings including footprints and sounds of wild animals. They will keep an eye on other evidences like territory markings like scars on trees, cavities on earth and even urine smells,” he told TOI.

    The survey will take place between 6am and 10am every day. The volunteers will take a measured approach for the survey, for which, they are using a mobile app and GPS equipment.

    Apart from tigers, ATR has several carnivorous and herbivorous, including elephants, leopard, spotted deer, dhole, moose, mongoose, boar, porcupine and bear. TNN









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  • Corporation launches drive to bring down illegal hoardings across coimbatore TNN | Updated: May 23, 2018, 11:52 IST
    COIMBATORE: With unauthorised hoardings mushrooming in the city again, civic activists have filed a petition with the city corporation seeking action against the violators. In the last 15 days alone, the corporation had removed about 168 such hoardings installed across the city.

    Corporation officials said that they have launched an extensive drive to remove illegal hoardings. “We removed most of these hoardings from residential areas. Several building owners had set them up without getting no-objection certificate from the corporation and the police department,” an assistant town planning officer said.

    Corporation officials said that since October 2016, as many as 1,198 hoardings were removed from the east zone, 2,247 from the west zone, 1,006 from north zone, 158 from south zone and 1,805 from central zone. “A total of 6,414 hoardings were removed and we are continuing the drive,” he told TOI. As per norms, those who want to set up an advertisement hoarding should get permission from several departments if it is on government buildings. To set up temporary hoardings, an application has to be submitted to the revenue divisional officer/sub-collector concerned, enclosing the NOC from the building owner or AEE/ADE (for government buildings), NOC from the police station concerned and the challan for payment of licence fee for 15 days before the erection of the hoarding. After scrutiny of the application, permission would be granted for erecting the hoarding for a maximum of six days. The revenue earned is shared by the corporation and the district administration.
    Real estate companies and apartment owners still install hoardings along city roads and inside their campuses without getting permission, civic activist SP Thiyagarajan said. “Apart from causing road accidents and traffic violations, the illegal hoardings lead to huge revenue loss to the government,” he said.








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  • City copn to desilt canal TNN | Updated: May 25, 2018, 00:33 IST


    Coimbatore: Officials from the city corporation, along with social activists, visited Selvachinthamani tank, Periyakulam, Muthannankulam and Narasampathi tank on Thursday and revealed plans to strengthen the sluice gates at Selvachinthamani tank and desilt the canal from Selvachinthamani tank – Periyakulam.

    TOI had published a report about the sorry state of sluice gates and outlet channels in the city water bodies on May 10. The report also brought to light garbage dumping in the canal between Selvachinthamani tank and Periyakulam.

    Following the report, city engineer Lakshmanan, Subash from Smart city consultancy, honorary secretary of the Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore (RAAC) R Raveendran and R Manikandan of Kovai Kulangal Padhukappu Amaippu visited Ukkadam Periyakulam and Selvachinthamani tank on Thursday.

    Lakshmanan told TOI that the city corporation is planning to desilt the canal between Selvachinthamani tank and Periyakulam. tnn







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  • Protect water bodies: Easwaran tnn | May 26, 2018, 01:13 IST


    Coimbatore: Kongu Nadu Makkal Desiya Katchi general secretary E R Easwaran said that his outfit would stage a protest if the state government failed to prevent pollution of waterbodies in the city. Talking to reporters in Mettupalayam on Friday, Easwaran said it was not just people of Tuticorin who were affected by industrial pollution. “People of Coimbatore have also been suffering from th adverse effects of pollution. The state government should take immediate measures to prevent pollution of waterbodies in Kongu region,’’ he said.

    Easwaran said that if the government failed to take steps to arrest deterioration of waterbodies, his party would stage a protest similar to anti–Sterlite agitation. tnn








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  • Flyovers on Trichy Road mooted SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
    COIMBATORE, MAY 26, 2018 00:00 IST
    UPDATED: MAY 26, 2018 03:40 IST



    The State Highways Department plans to construct flyovers at Sungam, Ramanathapuram, and Singanallur junctions on Trichy Road in the city.M. PeriasamyM_Periasamy Road from Stock Exchange to Koundampalayam to be relaid
    The National Highways wing of the State Highways Department plans to take up flyover construction works at three locations on Trichy Road.

    An official of the department said the proposal is to have flyovers at Sungam, Ramanathapuram, and Singanallur junctions. However, this project is at a preliminary stage. “We have just mooted to the Government. If the Central Government approves, we will start works on it,” the official said. This will come under general NH works and there are possibilities for the Union Government giving its nod.

    This project was announced by the State Government. So, it is not clear as to who would take it up. But, it is a necessity. There are traffic congestions at all three locations, mainly in Singanallur because of the bus stand there. It is better to have a flyover from Ramanathapuram to Sungam so that vehicles going towards Singanallur can avoid two intersections, said K. Kathirmathiyon, secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause.

    When pointed out about the damaged stretches at several places on Trichy Road, the Highways Department official said the department also proposes to re-lay the road from Stock Exchange to Koundampalayam at a total cost of Rs. 16 crore. Even the contractor has been finalised. But, works cannot be taken up because of the rains. It will take about a month to complete when the renewal works start, the official said.








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  • Electronic parking at rly station soon TNN | Updated: May 27, 2018, 00:32 IST
    Coimbatore: In an effort to address the complaints from rail passengers about fleecing of parking lot contractors at the city railway station, authorities are planning to start work to set up an electronic parking system from today. Rs 4.75lakh has been allotted for the project, an official said.

    The parking lot, that will accommodate 15 cars, will have the entrance near the post office. The entrance will split into two - one for parking cars and the other for vehicles that drop passengers and leave the station.

    “Due to space constraints, we are coming up with a separate bay where taxis, auto rickshaws and cars can enter and drop passengers,” said a senior railway official. Another four bays will be set up exclusively for VIPs and differently-abled passengers, he added.

    The entrance to the parking lot will be fitted with a ticket vending machine and an electronic boom barrier. Vehicles entering for parking will have to get tickets that will have bar code. Vehicles that enter for dropping passengers will not be charged or stopped.

    The machine will be integrated with an application so that senior railway officials can monitor the contractors. At the exit gate, there will be a booth with an employee, who will scan the bar code and collect parking fee. “We decided to adopt the same system used in malls and airports,” said an official.

    The entire installation cost is estimated at Rs 4.75 lakh and the work will be completed within a week. “Since the capacity is less, the parking fee will be higher. We are yet to fix the rates,” he said.

    Vehicles can be parked only for 12 hours. Those who want to use it for more hours will be charged on an hourly basis.

    Officials said that work on the multi-level parking system near the back entrance of the railway station will be completed within six months. “Once that is completed, the two-wheeler parking lot in the front entrance will be shifted there, making more space for cars,” said an official.

    The multi-level parking system will have four floors - one underground for just cars, one ground floor for office space and two floors for two-wheeler parking. It will be fully automated and will accommodate at least 500 two-wheelers.



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  • Residents force tar mixing plant to shut operations TNN | Updated: May 28, 2018, 12:09 IST Representative Image

    TIRUPUR: Residents of Perumanallur have closed down a temporary tar mixing plant, which resumed operations a week ago in violation of a tripartite agreement inked last year to relocate the same, saying it posed threat to public health.

    The plant at Moiyandampalayam near Perumanallur was allowed to operate only till November 2017. But the plant owner did not honour the agrrement, a revenue official said.

    The tar mixing plant was set up by a private contractor, who has taken up road laying project in Avinashi region. Though the plant was set up in a private land, farmers and villagers objected to it, fearing health problems.

    Villagers took out a protest when the contractor continued to operate the plant and following this a tripartite meeting was held in presence of the district sub-collector. The contractor agreed to relocate the plant after operating it till November 2017. Though the operation was stopped as promised, the plant was not dismantled, said a police officer.

    “However, the plant resumed operations last week,” said V Karuppasamy, a villager. He said they had earlier visited Kodangipalayam near Palladam, where a tar mixing plant was in operation for several months and came to know that it had caused health problems, especially lungs and respiratory problems.

    “The tar and tiny metals are mixed at a temperature of 50 degree Celsius. Heavy heat, pungent smell and smoke are spreading all over the atmosphere. Dust is another problem. We could see ‘black oil’ sediment in our farms and houses. Our cattle also face health issues due to it,” he said.

    The villagers staged a fresh protest in front of the plant and dug a pit to prevent any vehicle from entering the plant. Police officials, however, pacified the villagers and the plant was subsequently closed down.

    The villagers said they would not allow the plant to function again. “There could be pollution due to the tar mixing plant, but the chances of it causing health problems are remote. In this case, the contractor did not honour the promise of relocating the plant,” said an official attached to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.








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  • Water recycling plant getting ready at city railway station Nivedha Selvam| TNN | Updated: May 29, 2018, 00:35 IST


    Coimbatore: About six months from now, the Southern Railway will be using treated water to clean coaches at the Coimbatore Railway Junction yard, a measure that is expected to reduce freshwater consumption.

    Towards this, construction of an effluent treatment plant had started about two months ago, using Rs 1.17 crore sanctioned by the railway ministry.

    The yard has been drawing over three lakh litres of groundwater a day to clean the coaches and the platform. The used water is let out to the corporation sewage lines. Once the plant is established, gallons of underground water could be saved and could be utilised for some other purpose.

    The plant can treat about four lakh litres of used water per day, a railway official said. “After treating the used water, the treated water will also be purified using a unique technology so that the tanks of the train compartments could also be filled,” he said, adding that the water would be used in toilets, apart from using it for maintenance work at the yard.

    The project was envisaged after the department received complaints pertaining to water shortage in long-distance trains, the official said, citing that each train contains about 24 compartments.

    The construction of the plant was bestowed to a Chennai-based company. “The work is expected to be completed within six months. The company has completed the procurement of the required machineries,” the official added.

    Next, the Salem Division is planning to establish a similar treatment plant at Erode Railway Junction and Mettupalayam Railway Station.









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