At the beginning of January every year, it became a routine exercise for our MPs to plead the GM of Railways for the allocation of funds for the pending projects. The people of Godavari districts are desperately waiting for funds for Kotipalli-Narsapur, Kakinada-Pithapuram, Kovvur-Bhadrachalam lines and third-line between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada from ages. Though the central cabinet released partial funds for Kotipalli-Narsapur in the last budget, the tender process is still going on. The Kovvur-Bhadrachalam line which is pending from more than 50 years has been sanctioned two years ago but no funds released till date. The third line from Tuni-Eluru in Godavari districts is not mentioned anywhere in the last few budgets. Moreover, Rajahmundry, the most important railway station in Godavari districts didn’t see upgradation with additional platforms even during Pushkaras in 2015.
The TDP leaders openly criticised such meetings with GM are useless but they never rise their voice during the railway budget session in the parliament.
In addition to the pending projects, there are many other needs which our leaders simply ignore. Probably, they don’t want to add anything to the above as they continue to fail from decades. One of the most important railway line that is required in Godavari districts is a railway line connecting the Northern parts of the district (Gokavaram, Rampachodavaram, Maredimilli and Chinturu). This region is almost half the size of the East Godavari district, doesn’t have proper rail or even road connectivity to the main railway line or national highway. Moreover, this is economically background region with mostly tribal population.
Though it is plausible to admit that it is a hilly area and the difficulties associated with constructing a railway line in this region, it is not at all impossible. It will be economically viable also as it provides the shortest route to North India via Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. A survey from Rajahmundry to Raipur was proposed in Mamata Benerjee’s Railway budget a few years ago but it is a doubt whether this survey is conducted or not. This line can also be laid via Rajahmundry Airport which will then become more accessible for the people of Northern parts of the district, Orrisa and Chhattisgarh.
The leaders should understand the importance of this railway line and add this to their list. At least, a survey for this line from Rajahmundry to Raipur (via Madhurapudi Airport, Gokavaram, Rampachodavaram, Maredimilli, Chintur and Raipur) needs to be proposed in this budget.