Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Vice President of India launched various rail developmental works and passenger amenities/facilities in the state of Andhra Pradesh at a function held at Nellore Railway Station today i.e., 21st February, 2019. Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of Railways and Coal was present on the occasion. The rail developmental works and passenger facilities launched, are:
·Inauguration of New Railway Line between Venkatachalam-Vellikallu and Obulavaripalli-Cherlopalli Stations (Part of Krishnapatnam-Obulavaripalli New Railway Lines Project).
·Laying of foundation stone for Provision of Passenger Amenities at all Railway Stations from Krishnapatnam to Rapuru (Part of Krishnapatnam-Obulavaripalli New Railway Lines Project).
·Announcement of Passenger Train Operations between Venkatachelam-Rapuru Stations from 25thDecember, 2019.
·Laying of foundation stone for redevelopment of Nellore Railway Station.
·Inaugurate New Foot Over Bridge at Nellore South Railway Station.
·Inauguration of Upgraded Passenger Amenities at Tirupati Railway Station (via Remote Video Link).
·Dedication of Free High-Speed Wi-Fi facility at Nellore, Gudur and Renigunta Railway Stations to the Nation.
·Dedicate New Booking Office at Akkampet Railway Stations to the Nation.
·Dedication of New Foot Over Bridge and New Booking Office at Tiruvottiyur Railway Station to the Nation (via Remote Video Link).
·Dedication of Subway in lieu of Level Crossing No.34 at Gummidipundi to the Nation (via Remote Video Link).
·Flagging off of Nellore-Chennai Central MEMU Service.
Addressing the large gathering present on the ocassion the Hon’ble Vice President of India Shri M, Venkaiah Naidu, termed the day as ‘Rail Utsavam’, a festival of rail development for Andhra Pradesh and the adjoining states. Stressing on the emotional connect he holds with Nellore, the Vice President of India stated that the day is significant because a host of rail works have taken off, including the rail connectivity to his birth place towards Rapuru. Speaking on the rail developmental initiatives, he said that the new Railway line between Venkatachalam and Obulavaripalli and the existing Krishnapatnam-Venkatachalam connectivity will be the game changer for Railways in the region, on the strength of hugely enhancing freight traffic potential besides catering to the needs of rail users, upon introduction of passenger services soon. The priority being accorded for development of passenger amenities at all Railway stations in the section is the pointer to the same. He expressed his happiness at the introduction of a new MEMU train service between Nellore and Chennai, which is conveniently scheduled during the day time. Recollecting his own efforts as a Union Minister earlier, Shri Venkaiah Naidu spoke of how he envisaged the potential for connecting Krishnapatnam on rail network, which has proved right now, with freight traffic between the Port and various destinations towards Rayalaseema, Karnataka and beyond, substantially contributing to generate revenue for Railways. The new rail line will reduce distance between Venkatachalam and Obulavaripalli by 72 kms he informed. He appreciated the Railways for undertaking the technology intensive tunneling work in the new rail section, which is going to complete soon. Shri Venkaiah Naidu highlighted the iconic status of Nellore city and stated that the plan to redevelop Nellore Railway Station is in tune with the same. The World Class project being taken up at a cost of Rs.147 crore, will herald the best in terms of design structure, aesthetics, safety and durability, making rail travel an elegant experience. The provision of free highspeed Wi-Fi services at Nellore, Gudur and Renigunta Railway Stations signify the needs of New India to stay digitally connected. He appreciated the Railways for taking forward the Swachhata Mission by upkeeping the rail stations and trains to the best standards and sought that the public shall also extend co-operation in the endeavor. Sharing his thoughts on the broader national perspective, the Hon’ble Vice President of India focused on the inherent strength of the Nation as the fastest developing economy and said that India’s transport needs have also risen exponentially, there by enabling priority for development of the Transport sector.
Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of Railways and Coal expressed happiness on his visit to Nellore, the birth place of Shri Potti Sriramulu, the undisputed statesman who was responsible for creation of Andhra Pradesh. Continuing in the same league, he stated that Shri Venkaiah Naidu is another leader of eminence, much loved and respected, who holds his roots with the district. Highlighting the rail developmental initiatives which took off today, the minister said that an amount of Rs.1830 crore is being spent for the projects. Lauding South Central Railway for its overall performance which earned the zone, the coveted Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant Award - 2018 for being the best on the Indian Railways. The Minister also acknowledged SCR’s second rank on Indian Railways in terms of cleanliness and expressed confidence that SCR will occupy the top place in 2019. Indian Railways is firmly committed to “Jan Bhagedari”, i.e. involvement of public as partners, in shaping rail development in the country. He also stressed on the benefits of various projects that have enabled the dawn of a new chapter in rail transport in Andhra Pradesh and assured that the great day of rail development in Andhra Pradesh will fuel its economy and growth. Responding to the suggestion of Hon’ble Vice President of India for a new Intercity train to connect Gudur with Vijayawada, the rail minister announced that the new day time train will be introduced shortly, once the Venkatachalam – Obulavaripalli new line is completed. The Minister pointed out the fast pace of rail infra works undertaken in Andhra Pradesh in the last four years, comparing the statistics with the previous years. He informed that, only 8 kms of new railway line was laid between 2009-2014, while 290 kms of new rail line has been laid in the state between 2014-2019. In terms of electrification, 219 kms were electrified between 2009-2014, while 1045 kms have been electrified in the last 05 years between 2014-2019, conveying the thrust given by the railways towards development of Andhra Pradesh.
The rail minister announced a slew of benefits for rail users, fulfilling the needs of various places, in Andhra Pradesh. These are:-
1.Frequency of Train No.17215/17216 Vijayawada – Dharmavaram express will be increased from 03 days a week at present, to run daily from 22nd February, 2019.
2.Stoppage for Train No. 11020/11019 Bhubaneswar – Mumbai (CSMT) Konark express at Pithapuram from 21st February, 2019.
3.Stoppage for Train No.11017/11018 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Kurla) – Karaikal Weekly express at Razampeta from 24th February, 2019
4.Extension of Train No. 20889/20890 Howrah – Vijayawada Humsafar Weekly Express to Tirupati from 24th February, 2019.
5.Extension of Train No.68433/68434 Cuttack – Brahmapur MEMU service to Ichchapuram from 03rdMarch, 2019.
6.Extension of Train No.58526/58525 Visakhapatnam – Palasa Passenger to Brahmapur from 03rdMarch, 2019.
7.Extension of Train No.77673/77674 Miryalaguda – Kacheguda DEMU service to Nadikude from 23rd February, 2019.
Earlier, Shri Gajanan Mallya, General Manager, South Central Railway welcomed the dignitaries and, in his speech, highlighted SCR’s performance in various aspects, the zone has recorded a growth of 19% in originating gross earnings during the current fiscal up to January, 2019 as compared to the previous year and transported a record 100 million tonnes of freight by the end of January, 2019 in the current financial year. Developmental works are high on the agenda for the zone, a testimony of the same being the various rail initiatives launched this day.
Shri R. Dhananjayulu, Divisional Railway Manager, Vijayawada Division presented the Vote of Thanks. Dr. P.Narayana and Shri Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy, Hon’ble Ministers of Andhra Pradesh; Shri V.Prabhakar Reddy, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha; Shri M.Raghavendra Reddy, Zilla Parishad Chairman, Nellore; Shri Abdul Azeez, Hon’ble Mayor, Nellore were amongst present on the occasion.