Railway Ministry has big plans for Amaravati

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The Government of Andhra PradeshAndhra Pradesh and the Ministry of Railways will float a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in a month or two for taking pending projects forward with due focus on establishment of connectivity to the new capital city of Amaravati.

The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) is working on plans to introduce high-speed trains between Amaravati and Bengaluru as well as Chennai and Kolkata (passing through the capital region). These projects will happen in a ‘fast mode,’ said Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu.

Addressing a joint press conference with Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu after nearly three-hour-long deliberations here on Saturday, Mr. Prabhu said a high-level team of officials was looking into the implementation of the north-south and east-south corridors that would transform Andhra Pradesh into a logistics hub.

“These freight corridors are being pursued at the highest level. Things will start taking a shape soon,” he asserted. It was Mr. Prabhu’s first visit to Vijayawada after getting elected to the Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh with the Telugu Desam’s support. Mr. Prabhu said the SPV would lay down the roadmap for re-development of 21 railway stations in the State and giving impetus to the pending projects which have got adequate budgetary allocations.

“It is a new policy of the Central government that major railway stations should be redeveloped on the same lines as airports. The details are being worked out,” he added. The General Manager of South Central Railway has been instructed to list the priorities and come up with an action plan at the earliest.

Mr. Chandrababu Naidu said the joint venture (SPV) would take up top priority projects while the rest would be executed by the Railway Board in the normal course.

The Andhra Pradesh government has been asked to make suggestions on improving railway connectivity to Rayalaseema and establishing the all-important linkages to Amaravati from major cities and towns in India to facilitate necessary action by the Railways.

“We are studying various plans and are happy that the proposed freight corridors linking Visakhapatnam with Delhi, Mumbai, Kharagpur and Chennai are making good progress.