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Pakala-Dharmavaram BG line opened

Special Correspondent

Chief Minister flags off new Tirupati-Guntakal passenger

- PHOTO: Satish .H

Chief Minister K. Rosaiah flagging off Tirupati-Guntakal passenger in Hyderabad on Tuesday. South Central Railway General Manager

HYDERABAD/PAKALA (Chittoor dist.): Chief Minister K. Rosaiah on Tuesday expressed happiness that after years of neglect, the South Central Railway (SCR) was getting its due in the form of new lines, new trains and surveys and thanked Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee for the push given to the State.

The Chief Minister was commissioning the newly-converted broad gauge line between Pakala and Dharmavaram and pressed a switch marking the inaugural run of a new passenger train from Tirupati to Guntakal. Simultaneously, Minister of State for Railways, K.H. Muniyappa flagged off the new train at Pakala, while Congress MP Chinta Mohan waved the green flag at Tirupati for another passenger train No. 275 to Guntakal.

Thus, the SCR ran two trains to the same destination to mark the commissioning of the new route and the new passenger train, on the inaugural day. The events at Secunderabad, Tirupati and Pakala were telecast through remote video linkage live on large screens.

Be it a rail or road, transport linkages ushered development. Observing that Andhra Pradesh had a lesser number of ports compared to Gujarat, Mr. Rosaiah said the State needed to speed up development works on this front.

SCR General Manager M.S. Jayanth said the 227.4 km line marked the completion of Project Uni-Gauge in AP. The Pakala-Dharmavaram project cost the Indian Railways Rs.546.49 crore, he said. With this, all 3,605 km of railway lines were fully broad gauge, he said.

The new section was 112 km less than the distance on the Tirupati-Guntakal sector via Gooty, Kadapa and Renigunta. The Tirupati-Guntakal rail fare was only Rs. 48 compared to Rs. 209 by bus, he added.

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