The Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu will today dedicate a part of the Venkatachalam – Vellikallu/Rapur and Obulavaripalli – Cherlopalli sections in Andhra Pradesh to the nation. Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister for Railways, Govt of India will be present at the ceremony.
Watch the inauguration live:
The section is part of the larger Venkatachalam – Obulavaripalli new line project that will ultimately link Kadapa district to Krishnapatnam port.
This line is aims to reduce distance to the port from areas around Guntakal and further west. Renigunta and Gudur railway stations will also see reduced congestion from diversion of freight movement.
Krishnapatnam port is India’s largest deep water port and the deepest at 18.5 meter draft. The port handles the hghest volume of inbound and outbound coal traffic in the country. It also has a fledgling container terminal which aims to decongest Chennai port. The port has a built capacity to handle 200 million tonnes of cargo in a year.
Challenges in connectivity
Traditional road and rail lines connecting the Kadapa and Nellore regions had to traverse south towards Renigunta and again northward to Nellore. This is due to the imposing presence of the Veligonda hill ranges, an extension of the Nallamalla ranges of the Eastern ghats.
To overcome this hassle, the Indian Railways in association with the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) envisaged South India’s longest tunnel through these hills that has a total length of over 7.5kms being constructed in two segments. It will support a doubled and electrified broad gauge railway line to enable faster movement of freight and passenger trains.
The tunnel will have ballastless tracks to enable easy maintenance. Total cost of the line is approximately 2,000 crores. Tunnel works are proposed to be completed by May 2019 and the entire section will be open to service by June.
Other projects to be inaugurated
- Upgraded passenger amenities including open waiting areas at Tirupati Railway station.
- New foot over bridge at Nellore South Railway station
- Free high speed internet connectivity at Nellore, Gudur and Renigunta stations.
- New booking office at Akkampet station.
- New booking office and foot over bridge at Tiruvottiyur.
- Subway replacing a level crossing at Gummidipundi.
- Flagging off of the Nellore-Chennai Main line electric multiple unit train (MEMU).
- Foundation for Nellore station redevelopment
- Foundation for passenger amenities at all stations on the new line of Krishnapatnam – Venkatachalam – Rapuru section.
- Reflagging off passenger services between Venkatachalam – Rapuru.
Image credits: Railnews, Wikipedia, SCR PR.