It is that time of the year when all MPs from the state should be lobbying hard with the centre. The railway budget and the genaral budgets are fast approaching. Just when we hear the news that the centre has finally decided to show ‘an empty hand” to AP on the special category status issue, it is natural to feel a little jittery as to whether these budgets will give us any relief.
The newly formed Andhra Pradesh has many problems with respect to Railway networks.
- First and foremost, the promise of Railway zone to Andhra Pradesh is yet to be fulfilled. An important center like Vizag, which is AP’s biggest city comes under a different railway zone and is administered from Bhubaneswar. This shame was felt only by citizens of Vizag so far but now this is shameful to the entire state.
- The rail connectivity from Rayalaseema to coastal Andhra is very poor. Even the road connectivity is bad but since road development is in the domain of the state government and does not come under the purview of the centre, we will not talk about it in this article.
- The only railway line connecting Anantapur and Kurnool with Guntur-Vijayawada is the Guntur- Guntakal line which is actually a single line and can only accommodate slow moving trains.
- Worse, Cuddapah is not connected to Coastal Andhra by rail line.
- Even in coastal Andhra, the Chennai Howrah trunk line is the only proper line and that is very busy.
- Areas and towns closer to the sea, like Machilipatnam and the konaseema areas are not covered by any good rail line.
- Large parts of Guntur, Prakasam and Cuddapah districts are not covered by rail lines.
Hope our MPs and our Chief Minister take these seriously and achieve some solution to these problems in the forth coming railway budget.