Tirupati: The long-pending Tiruchanur railway station had at last materialised with the foundation stone ceremony for the new crossing station at Tiruchanur will be performed on Saturday.

Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will lay the foundation stone for the construction of the railway station which was taken up with an outlay of Rs 10 crore and is expected to be completed in 6 to 9 months.

Though the new railway station near Tirupati is felt essential rather imperative, some 20 to 25 years back, with the steady increase of train traffic to Tirupati following manifold increase in the pilgrims visiting the world famous Tirumala shrine, the proposal has not seen the light. 

This was due to the Opposition from the business community particularly the hospitality sector and others in the city which  lobbied against new railway station at Tiruchanur, fearing that it would adversely affect their business . 

Unfortunately, the lack of political will to realise the new station by overcoming the vested interests added to the delay.
However, the congestion in Tirupati railway station, the management of which has become tough for the Railways overweighed the Opposition and spurred it to go in favour of the new railway station. 

The credit for it goes to the Union Railway Minister.

The turning point in the long pending issue came when Suresh Prabhu, in his last visit to Tirupati railway 
station, six months back, realised the need for an alternative arrangement to ease congestion at Tirupati railway station after noticing the steady arrival of trains from far off areas and the ever increasing pilgrim rush at the station.

While TTD chairman Chadalava Krishnamurthy who is also keen on new Tiruchanur railway station met Railway authorities and the Railway Minister at Delhi accelerating the proposal, to become a reality. 
The limited availability of land in Tirupati West railway station and the delay in acquiring TTD land on the south side of the land which is sufficient to add only one platform ultimately saw the Railway authorities tilt towards developing Tiruchanur railway station where the Railways is having six acres of land readily available for the station development.

Suresh Prabhu on his part told the authorities that he would provide the required amount, irrespective of budget proposal and allocated Rs 10 crore for the works.

A Railway official said that as the Minister is keen on completing the work in six months, the tenders will be invited separately for the works including construction of two platforms, railway station building including basic amenities, laying two loop lines in addition to the existing two lines.

Sources said that the railways proposed to develop a spacious parking lot and had already approached APSRTC to run the buses directly from there to Tirumala which will help them to decongest Tirupati railway station. 

All the Superfast and Express trains coming to Tirupati will be stopped at Tiruchanur railway station for 5 to 10 minutes for the pilgrims to disembark and proceed to Tirumala from there, sources added.

Railway sources maintained that with the growing number of trains from down south and from far off north passing through Tirupati, the flow of passengers and the passenger/pilgrim services (business) remain unaffected.