The railway line can decongest the busy Chennai-Howrah line passing through the coastal region vulnerable in times of cyclones and can also spur development in backward regions in the Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh.
GUNTUR: Authorities of South Central Railway (SCR) are racing against time to complete the first phase of the prestigious Nadikudi-Srikalahasti railway line project.
Officials are frantically chasing down deadlines as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is learnt to be personally monitoring the pace of the project by including it on the list of top-priority infrastructure projects. Though the first phase was to be completed by December, SCR authorities are confident of operating trains much ahead of schedule.
The railway line between Piduguralla-Rompicherla has already been laid and put under trial runs. The completion of the 33 km-long track within deadline has become a source of motivation for officials to complete the next phase. Officials are trying to complete another 18-km long track to connect the new line with Guntur-Guntakal railway line near Savalyapuram.
“We are trying to complete the first phase as per schedule. Completion of the track up to Savalyapuram will enable us to operate the trains via the new line,” said a senior engineering official managing the works. Although Nadikudi-Srikalahasti is a 309-km long line, completion of the first phase itself will provide a key link to the metro cities. The new track will chiefly aid the movement of freight wagons from industrial belts of Ananthapuram to Hyderabad and Macherla area in Guntur to Bengaluru. In fact, the new line will boost industrial development in Palnadu region of Guntur district, officials said.
Works on new railway stations at Nakarikallu, Kunkalagunta, Rompicherla, Santhagudipadu, Velpuru have also been put on fast track. While Kunkalagunta station is nearing completion, works on Velpuru station picked up pace. The existing stations at Piduguralla and Savalyapuram would also be provided with additional facilities including siding and junctions to take additional trains.
The project connects Secunderabad-Guntur Branch line at Nadikudi of Guntur district and Gudur-Katpadi Branch line at Srikalahasti of Chittoor district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The total length of the section is 308 km (191 mi) estimated cost of the project is ₹2,452 crore (US$370 million). The railway stations of which lies between the nodal stations are Nekarikallu, Rompicherla,Vinukonda, Gundlakamma, Darsi, Podili, Obulayapalli, Kanigiri, Pamuru, Rapur and Venkatagiri.
Among the major development works taken up in the Guntur Railway Division is the electrification of Guntur-Tenali railway line which is expected to be completed by December, 2018. The electrification of Guntur-Pagidipalli railway line is expected to be completed by February, 2019. Apart from the main line works, various passenger amenities at the Guntur railway station were of top priority. All the railway platforms at the Guntur Railway Station to have escalators now, three escalators have already been set up on platforms 1,2,3 and 4. Platform no. 8 is expanded to facilitate stoppage of trains having 24 carriages.