The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu today initiated a series of railway projects including the inauguration of the much-awaited new railway line between Venkatachalem -Vellikallu and Obulavaripalle - Cherlopalli (part of Krishnapatnam - Obulavaraipalle rail line project) and laid the foundation stones for redevelopment of Nellore railway station and passenger amenities at all railway stations from Krishnapatnam to Rapuru station.The other passenger oriented initiatives include, flagging off Nellore-Chennai Central MEMU service which would facilitate travel between Nellore town and Chennai during the day time, dedication of high speed Wi-Fi at Nellore, Guntur and Renigunta railway stations.Shri Naidu also dedicated new booking office at Akkampet railway station, new foot over bridge, new booking office at Tiruvottiyur railway station and a new subway at Gummidipundi in lieu of level crossing.The Vice President also inaugurated upgraded passenger amenities at Tirupati Railway Station (via video link) and new foot over bridge at Nellore South Railway Station. Responding to the suggestion of Vice President for a new intercity train to connect Gudur with Vijayawada, the Railway Minister Shri Piyush Goyal announced at the event that a new day time train would be introduced shortly.Addressing the gathering the Vice President expressed happiness that his long-cherished dream for rail passenger services between Rapur and Venkatachalam will become a reality by December 2019. Shri Naidu said that redevelopment of Nellore Station and the launch of MEMU service from Nellore to Chennai gave him immense satisfaction.
Describing the new railway line between Obulavaripalli and Krishnapatnam port as a boon, he said that the pending tunnel works were expected to be completed soon. The new line would reduce the distance by 72 km and provide seamless connectivity for goods transportation as it connects the port to Vijayawada-Gudur main line at Venkatachalam station.In view of the importance of Krishnapatnam port-Obulavaripalle line for the development of the region, Shri Naidu said that he had first taken up the proposal when Nitish Kumar was Railways Minister in Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet and had been pursuing it since then.The launch of passenger services between Venkatachalam and Rapur would fulfill the long-pending demand of passengers of seven stations. He thanked the Railway Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal and the Railway Board for accepting his suggestion to start the passenger services between Venkatachalam and Rapuru.Shri Naidu said that that the host of railway projects would improve connectivity tremendously and establish higher benchmarks for passenger safety and comfort, thus improving the ‘ease of travelling’ considerably. He said the redeveloped Nellore station would be iconic structure with state-of-the art facilities, including food courts and shopping kiosks. The redevelopment will help in building brand image of Nellore station.The Vice President wanted the Centre and State government to leave politics aside and work together for the welfare of people. He also appealed to politicians not to politicize issues relating to Security, Unity and integrity of India. There should not be any scope to cause damage to nation’s security and integrity.Turning emotional, the Vice President said that initiation of citizen centric, passenger oriented projects gave him immense satisfaction. He said that apart from today, there have been many memorable events in the past two decades in his life.Recalling his efforts for the launch of various development oriented projects, he said the setting up of Swarna Bharat Trust in 2001 was one such memorable milestone.
The Vice President said that the other such landmark events in his life included the launch of Smart Cities program, Swachh Bharat, Housing for All, AMRUT for development of urban infrastructure, operation of Metro rail services in various cities, implementation of RERA, promulgation of an Ordinance and passage of the Bill for inclusion of seven mandals from Khammam district of Telangana in the successor state of Andhra Pradesh. He also mentioned about his fight for ensuring justice to Andhra Pradesh during the passage of AP Re-organization Bill in 2014.Similarly, the Vice President also mentioned about the sanctioning of more than 11 lakh houses for Andhra Pradesh under ‘Housing for All’ and sanctioning of Rs 10,000 crore loan for housing projects in the state.Shri Naidu also recollected his experience of addressing the Serbian Parliament during his visit to Serbia, Malta and Romania.Later, inaugurating the new building of the Composite Regional Centre for skill development, rehabilitation & empowerment of persons with disabilities, the vice President stressed the need to create disable-friendly public infrastructure for barrier-free travel.Shri Naidu said that Centres such as the CRC would empower the disabled by providing skills and training. He expressed happiness that a total of 1731 appliances including wheel chairs, smart cane, Digital hearing aids, motorized tri- cycles, limbs, calipers and others were distributed to beneficiaries today through CRC.The Vice President also complimented the government for initiating several steps including increasing reservations for disabled in jobs. He also wanted the private sector to join the noble mission and take up a special drive in providing employment to persons with disabilities and train them accordingly.The CRC which earlier functioned from the premises of Jubilee Hospital had met the needs of more than 30,000 beneficiaries.The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, the Union Minister for Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal, the Minister for Municipal Administration, Andhra Pradesh, Shri Ponguru Narayana, the Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture and Agri-Processing, Andhra Pradesh, Shri Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy and several other dignitaries were present.