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State to spend 2,000 cr. on rail projects

Staff Reporter

— PHOTO: V. RAJU

Green signal:Chief Minister K. Rosaiah flagging off the Circular MEMU Suburban Train Service in Vijayawada on Wednesday, along with Union Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa, MP Lagadapati Rajagopal and SCR General Manager M.S. Jayanth.

VIJAYAWADA: The State Government will spend around Rs. 2,000 crore in the next five years towards its share for various railway projects in the State, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah said here on Wednesday. Though Andhra Pradesh had not been able to get its due share of funds and projects until recently, the Railway Ministry was now giving priority to the State, he added.

The Chief Minister was speaking after flagging off the long-awaited circular MEMU (Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit) suburban train service connecting Vijayawada, Guntur and Tenali. The train is scheduled to make a total of nine trips a day with a ticket price as low as Rs. 5 from Vijayawada to Guntur. Mr. Rosaiah later had a darshan of goddess Kanakadurga on Indrakeeladri and offered silk robes to the deity.

Mr. Rosaiah assured to make all-round efforts from the government's side to bring Waltair division under the South Central Railway and also speed up the process of expanding the railway wagon workshop at Kazipet.

Union Minister for State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa appreciated the efforts made by the local public representatives to get the nod for the circular train.

“As Vijayawada division is the most important one in terms of revenue earnings and connectivity, it is the Railway Ministry's responsibility to improve the amenities here,” he said.

Lauding Karnataka and A.P governments for actively coming forward to share the cost of railway projects, Mr. Muniyappa said that the cost sharing model will help the Railways take up more projects.

The A.P government came forward to share the cost of two new doubling and electrification works and approved three new projects under PPP mode, he said.

SCR General Manager M.S. Jayanth said that with the introduction of nine MEMU services, the total number of suburban train services under SCR will increase to 53 and these services will cater to more than 20,000 additional passengers per day.

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