Andhra Pradesh failed to get any big projects in the Railway Budget announced today, while the four new lines of relatively shorter distance proposed on socio-economic considerations have been linked to the state participation. And, they are yet to get the necessary clearances.
The railway minister has not granted either new lines, doubling or electrification of the existing lines in the state for the year 2013-14.
Of these four projects, two are interstate lines between Chikkaballapur (Karnataka) and Puttaparthy Satya Sai Nilayam in Anantapur district and between Cumbum (Tamil Nadu) and Proddatur in Kadapa district.
The other two projects are proposed between Kondapalli and Kothagudem and between Manuguru and Ramagundam in the state and are expected to improve rail connectivity in the Singareni collieries area.
Expressing its disappointment over the Railway Budget, the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) said even the allocation of funds for the ongoing projects in the state had been very insignificant. In November last year, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has observed that it will take at least 40 years to complete the pending railway projects in Andhra Pradesh at the current rate of investment inflow by the railways.
The disappointment among the political circles, including the ruling Congress party over the continued neglect' of AP by the railway ministry, is not new though the expectations this time were high in the light of a state MP inducted as the minister of state for railways in the recent Cabinet expansion.
Interestingly, the announcement to set up a drinking water bottling plant at Vijayawada evoked adverse reaction from a local TDP leader, who said the city's drinking water problems will further increase due to this plant.
The ministry, however, proposed to set up an Indian Railway Institute of Financial Management at Secunderabad besides a skill development centre at Kazipet and a rail wagon workshop at Kurnool, which happens to be minister K Surya Prakash Reddy's home town.
Also, the state got a share of the new trains announced on Tuesday. About 11 express trains, one passenger train and one main line electric multiple unit (MEMU) suburban train will be introduced on routes in the state, while the Kurnool-Secunderabad daily express service and the Nandyal-Kurnool passenger service are the two services that are confined to the state.
The frequency of the existing train services between Coimbatore-Tirupathi, Narsapur-Nagersol, Visakhapatnam-Hazoor Sahib, Visakhapatnam-Lokamanya Tilak and Secunderabad-Manuguru have been proposed to be increased.
The railway minister also announced the surveying of new routes between Dornakal and Miryalaguda and between Manchiryal and Adilabad towns in the Telangana region.