Vijayawada, Aug 24: Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today commissioned a new railway line between Nandyala and Yerraguntla, which Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu described as the "dream of (late Prime Minister) PV Narasimha Rao."
The Union Ministers and Chandrababu also flagged off a new passenger train between Nandyala and Kadapa on the occasion. They inaugurated the facilities through a remote video link from Vijayawada in the presence of state ministers, MPs and senior railway officials. Noting that poor connectivity caused disparities in growth of different regions within a particular state, Prabhu said, "we want to make sure connectivity will be the keystone."
The 29 states make a "big family of India", the Railway Minister pointed out, adding the country grows if the states grow.
"For this, infrastructure is needed and the railways has to provide most of it as it is the important backbone of industry and socio-economic development," Prabhu added. Venkaiah Naidu said the Nandyala-Yerraguntla railway line was a dream of the late Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao.
"He represented Nandyala in Lok Sabha. His dream has now come true. You can calculate how many years it took for that to happen," Venkaiah observed.
"As it would take 40 years to complete all railway projects promised so far, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Suresh Prabhu not to take up any new projects," he said.
"It's a gigantic task Prabhu is facing," he remarked. The 123-km railway line was built at a cost of Rs 967 crore and connects Kurnool and Kadapa districts of Andhra Pradesh. This will also directly connect the Rayalaseema region with the state's new capital Amaravati.
The new line will gave a fillip to industrial activity in Kurnool and Kadapa districts that have a large mineral base, particularly the cement industry. There will be eight stations between Nandyala and Yerraguntla with no unmanned level crossing for a length of 75 kms out of the entire stretch.