Delay in evacuating people hit 3rd Railway line works on Gudur-Vijayawada section

VIJAYAWADA/NELLORE: Railways had proposed 293-km long third railway line with a cost of Rs. 2,423 crore from Gudur to Vijayawada for dedicated freight corridor on Chennai- Howrah main line and also to relieve pressure on the existing line. It was planned to complete the third line by the year 2020. The tender process has been completed in 2016, but the works are being delayed as the encroachments were not removed.

South Central Railway called for tenders on Oct 26 last year for works between Nellore and Gudur stations. Nearly, 10 acres of land was encroached in which between 600-700 houses were built in the city limits.

Even though the Railways have started third railway line works in the district, there is no clarity on rehabilitation for the displaced people. In fact, majority railway lands in the city limits were encroached by local population some decades ago and the railways issued notices to them for vacating the lands.

Last year, the railway officials also gave numbers to all houses to be demolished and asked them to approach local district administration for any possible help. They also accepted applications from the persons for forwarding the same to the concerned officials.

In the meanwhile, the Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana visited the areas and assured the people that government would construct houses for them in June this year.

Minister also informed that they had requested the railway authorities to give some time for relocation of encroachers till completion of the housing projects in  the city. But, there was no specific allocation to the people who have been living on railway lands close to the track between Penna River and Vedayapalem Station in the city.

Railways deployed Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), its own commercial arm, for taking up works between Gudur and Bitragunta on a stretch of around 80 km. Works close to Penna Bridge are progressing briskly.