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Nadikudi-Srikalahasti rail line to get boost
With Ministry of Railways allocating Rs 2,501 crore in the budget, the SCR has allocated Rs 1,500 crore for Nadikudi-Srikalahasti railway line and Rs 1,000 crore for third rail line between Gudur and Vijayawada.
Nellore: With Ministry of Railways allocating Rs 2,501 crore in the budget, the SCR has allocated Rs 1,500 crore for Nadikudi-Srikalahasti railway line and Rs 1,000 crore for third rail line between Gudur and Vijayawada.
South Central Railways received around 30 percent increase this year for new lines, doubling of lines, third lines and electrification works. Officials say this year there is a possibility of focusing on major projects such as Nadikudi-Srikalahasti line and third line works. Delay in land acquisition and related problems are the main reasons for dragging Nadikudi-Srikalahasti project. A 308 kms railway line between Nadikudi and Srikalahasti was proposed six years ago to connect upland areas of Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore and Chittoor districts.
The railway line was proposed with Rs 1,314 crore, according to estimates in 2010 for promoting exports in cement and granite industries in the region which will be the shortest route for Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka from AP that passes through upland areas of the four districts. The state government has to provide land free of cost and bear 50 per cent cost of the proposed line for constructing new broad-gauge line. A GO MS 3 dated January 5, 2016 was also issued for land acquisition for the project. The railway line touches areas between Nadikudi and Srikalahasti such as Vinukonda, Gundlakamma, Darsi, Podili, Kanigiri, Pamuru, Vinjamuru, Dubagunta, Atmakuru, Rapuru, Obulayapalle, and finally connects Venkatagiri at Gudur–Renigunta section.
Around 2,138-acre land is being acquired in 44 villages spread over 11 mandals in Nellore and the extent includes 899 acres of patta land, 529 acres of DKT land, 125 acres of CJFS land and 584 acres of government land. 430 acres of land handed over to Railways up to 2020. Still, a total of 46 km railway line has been laid and land acquisition for 150 km in the entire district. Till now, land acquisition for only around 90 km has been completed and the railways also facing shortage of finances for taking up the project. Meanwhile the cost of the project increased from Rs 2,288 crore to Rs 4,500 crore.
"Now, Railways can speed up the project since the Centre allocated Rs 1,501 crore for the railway line. The state government has to complete land acquisition fast for early completion," said an official from the revenue department. Further, Rs 1,000 crore was allotted for Vijayawada–Gudur 3rd line project which was sanctioned in 2015-16 for 288 km with Rs 3,549 crore. Execution of works has commenced in three phases between Gudur-Bitragunta, Karavadi-Bitragunta and Krishna Canal-Karavadi simultaneously. The section between Kavali–Ulavapadu for 30 km and section between Talamanchi–Sri Venkateswarapalem for 25 Km has been completed.