Vice-President inaugurates a slew of railway projects

Update: 2019-02-22 00:00 GMT

HighlightVicePresident Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu formally launched a few flagship projects and laid foundations for projects of Indian Railways at a programme in Nellore on Thursday

Nellore: Vice-President Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu formally launched a few flagship projects and laid foundations for projects of Indian Railways at a programme in Nellore on Thursday.

The Vice-President laid foundation for the redevelopment of Nellore station with Rs 147 crore, which is among 10 stations across the country proposed for converting as smart railway stations, inaugurated new railway line between Venkatachalam- Velikallu and Obulavaripalli- Cherlopalli being constructed with Rs 1,656 crore; inaugurated foot over bridge at south station constructed with Rs 55 lakh; launched high-speed WiFi facility at Nellore, Gudur, and Renigunta stations; upgraded passenger amenities at Tirupati station with Rs 11 crore, FoB and new booking, reservation counters at Tiruvottiyur railway station constructed with Rs. 1.42 crore, new booking office at Akkampet in Nellore with Rs. 25 lakh, and new subway at Gummidipundi in Tamil Nadu constructed with Rs 2 crore.

Venkaiah Naidu formally flagged off the newly-introduced MEMU express train between Nellore and Chennai Central stations. He said he had earlier wished to complete modernisation of Nellore Railway Station which realised now under the PPP model. During the first phase, Nellore and Tirupati stations would be taken up for improving amenities and Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam would be taken up in the next phase, he said.

Venkaiah also said the government is ready to dedicate Nadikudi- Kalahasti railway line shortly and Agriculture Development Bank (ADB) accepted in principle to provide finances for the Chennai- Bengaluru and Vizag- Chennai industrial corridors and said these projects will give enormous employment opportunities for local jobless.

He also said protecting the nation is paramount and one should ignore party affiliations and work for harmony and safety of the country. Gajanan Mallya, General Manager, South Central Railway, said that the zone has recorded a growth of 19 pc in originating gross earnings during the current fiscal up to January 2019 as compared to the previous year and transported a record 100 million tonnes of freight by the end of January 2019 in the current financial year. Developmental works are high on the agenda for the zone, a testimony of the same being the various rail initiatives launched this day, he explained.

Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal, Ministers P Narayana, S Chandramohan Reddy, RS Member V Prabhakar Reddy, City Mayor Abdul Aziz, ZP Chairman B Raghavendra Reddy, GM of South Central Railways Gajanan Mallya and others were present.

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