Telugu Desam Parliamentary Party leader Thota Narasimham today raised a strong demand for taking up the much-delayed Kakinada-Pithapuram railway main line construction project. The Railways had kept the project on a "freezing mode" based on an "erroneous report" sent to its board, Narasimham told reporters here this afternoon. The Lok Sabha member from Kakinada took up the issue with South Central Railway General Manager Vinod Kumar Yadav at a meeting organised with MPs from the state. Narasimham maintained construction of the Kakinada- Pithapuram main line was a decades-old dream and linked to sentiment of the people of the region. "Suresh Prabhu, when he was Minister for Railways, granted Rs 50 crore in the first year and Rs 150 crore in the second year for the 21km project. "The state government is ready to bear the land acquisition cost of the project but some officials sent a wrong report to the Railway Board that the Samalkot-Kakinada line is not viable.
This has nothing to do with the Kakinada- Pithapuram line," he told reporters after the meeting. The Railways officials did not consult him before submitting the report, he added. "I have taken up the issue with Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and he promised to take up the work if there is no problem in land acquisition." Meanwhile, the SCR General Manager informed the MPs that major works related to development of rail infrastructure in Andhra Pradesh were progressing at a brisk pace. Works related to construction of a new line between Yerraguntla and Nandyal and electrification of the Wadi- Raichur-Guntakal section were completed during the current fiscal, Yadav said. In addition, a small stretch in the Nadikudi Srikalahasti and KadapaBengaluru new line projects was also targeted for completion during the current fiscal, he added. He said works on doubling and electrification of the Vijayawada-Gudivada-Bhimavaram-Narsapursection section were going on at a fast pace. Works on construction of 58 Road-Over-Bridges (ROBs) and 138 Road-Under-Bridges (RUBs) were in progress, while construction of another 21ROBs and 24 RUBs was under consideration, Yadav said. The Tirupati railway station would be developed into a world-class facility at a cost of Rs 450 crore, the General Manager said. A proposal to connect Kadapa and Kurnool towns in Rayalaseema with new the states new capital Amaravati was under active consideration, Yadav added. Telugu Desam Party and YSR Congress MPs attended the meeting.
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