South Central Railway, East Coast Railway corridor plan taking wings

Four ports to be benefit with new line.

Kakinada: The Kakinada-Kotipalli railway line, extending to Narasapuram in West Godavari district through Amalapuram in Konaseema area, will become a major alternative cargo corridor for South Central Railway as well as East Coast Railway.

The railway line will connect four ports Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram, Kakinada and Machilipatnam and then be extended to Chennai through Krishnapatnam.

The Kakinada-Kotipalli Railway line has been completed at a cost of Rs 111 crore at the initiative of the former Lok Sabha Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi. With completion of the Kotipalli-Narasapur new line, an alternative route for the already choked Grand Trunk route will be available for increasing both goods and passenger traffic.

The entire area served by the proposed new line consists of highly fertile land yielding diversified agricultural products like paddy, coconut, turmeric, sunflower etc. Thousands of tonnes of coconut, rice and aqua products are being sent from this area by road to other parts of the country.

At present, there is heavy pressure on the Visakhapatnam-Vijayawada-Chennai and Visakhapatnam-Vijayawada-Hyderabad line as cargo emanates from Vizag, Gangavaram and Kakinada ports.

According to sources, the Railways is unable to cater to the needs of the trade for movement of cargo through the present main railway line due to heavy passenger traffic. “If the main railway line is linked with Kakinada from Pithapuram, the Kakinada-Narasapuram railway line would play a vital role in carrying cargo from the ports and other trades and the present ma-in railway line can have reduced pressure.

More trains can also be introduced, said Amalapuram MP Pandula Ravindrababu, adding that rake availability can be improved for the trade for Kakinada and Machilipatnam Ports.

Konaseema and Narasapur areas in West Godavari, the most prospe-rous and densely populated region in East Godavari, are also rich in high reserves of petroleum and natural gas, that is found mainly in the adjoining Krishna Godavari Basin.

Though the region has immense potential to emerge as a future hub of agrobased industries, it has not been able to tap this to its optim-um level due to the absence of a rail network.

According to experts, the new line will definitely give a paradigm shi-ft to economic development of region in view of recent bifurcation of the state. Maharshi Sambamurthy Institute of Social and Development Studies secretary T. Srinivasa Rao, who studied on rail connection between Chandramampalli-Kakinada and Kotipalli-Narasapuram, said the Kakinada-Koti-palli line should be linked with Chandramampalli line near Pithapuram for linking Kakinada with main line.

Infographics: i) Kakinada town rail passengers' association president YD Ramarao says the Kotipalli-Narasapuram rail line should be extended to Repalle-Baptla, to cover all ports in Andhra Pradesh; ii) All oil exploration companies and other ports management can be expected to make investments for the line under PPP; iii) Land acquisition may however be a major hurdle for the new railway line.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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