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Shankar Rao seeks train to Tirumala

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Handlooms Minister P. Shankar Rao, who represents Secunderabad Cantonment in the Assembly, now wants a railway connectivity from Secunderabad to Tirumala which, however, has no track. He told reporters here on Saturday that he made this proposal at a meeting he had on Friday with M.S. Jayanth, General Manager (GM), South Central Railway.

The meeting was attended by B. Mohan, Inspector-General, Railway Protection Force, and several Telangana leaders, including Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) legislator E. Rajender. Asked whether he was not asking for the moon, he said his proposal would be useful in at least prompting the railway authorities to undertake a feasibility study.

A railway connectivity to Tirumala would benefit lakhs of pilgrims visiting the holy place. He also wanted similar connectivity from Secunerabad to pilgrim centres of Vemulawada, Bhadrachalam, Yadagirigutta, Basar, all in Telangana region, Srisailam in Rayalaseema, and to Shirdi in Maharashtra.

He said following his plea, the General Manager had said that all the cases booked by the Railway Police against Telangana agitators in connection with rail roko programmes would be withdrawn, except four which were “serious in nature.” He promised to take up the issue with the Railway Board. He also positively responded on the suggestion to construct five ramps at Secunderabad railway station to help senior citizens and the differently abled.

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