VIJAYAWADA: Despite no new projects being announced for railways by Union minister Piyush Goyal in the interim budget placed in the Parliament on Friday, the ongoing projects under South Central Railway (SCR) in AP have got fund allocations from the Centre. However, there have been disparities in the allocations as compared with the previous year.
Of the Rs 5,924 crore sanctioned by the Centre for SCR this year, around Rs 2,362 crore would be spent on railway development in AP. The Modi government pumped Rs 1,308 crore less funds in the SCR coffer this year, as compared with the 2018-19 budget, in which railways had been sanctioned Rs 3,670 crore for infra boost in the state.
As for the two third line projects linking Vijayawada with Kazipet and Gudur, the fund allocations saw a staggering growth this year. “The fund sanctioned for Kazipet-Vijayawada third line has been increased from Rs 60 crore last year to Rs 110 crore in the interim budget. Likewise, the Vijayawada-Gudur third line has got Rs 350 crore, which is Rs 100 crore more than last year’s allocation,” said a senior railway official.
Besides, the allocation for construction of bypass lines at Vijayawada, Kazipet, Reningunta, Wadi and Gooti also surged from a mere Rs 31 crore in the 2018-19 budget to Rs 143 crore in the interim one. While the Centre increased the allocation to the development of a second entry at Tirupati railway station by Rs 4.5 crore, SCR gets Rs 4 crore less than last year for the development of Tiruchanur station. However, the allotment of funds for the Vijayawada-Bhimavaram-Nidadabvolu doubling and electrification works have plummeted to Rs 175 crore from Rs 200 crore granted last year. The dip was also seen in the allocation of funds to Guntakal-Kalluru doubling project — from Rs 76.52 crore last year to Rs 15 crore this time.
The highest allocation for railways in AP is Rs 700 crore pertaining to the current Nadikudi-Srikalahasti new line project, which was taken up in the 2011-12 fiscal at an estimated cost of Rs 2,450 crore. As per the agreement, the AP government would have to share half of the project cost. While the expenditure incurred on the project in the past four years clocks Rs 414 crore, SCR was allocated Rs 420 crore for the same last year.