Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President after visiting the countrys longest electrified tunnel between Cherlopalli and Rapuru Railway Stations on the newly commissioned Obulavaripalli-Krishnapatnam Railway line, in Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh | August 31, 2019

"I am delighted to visit the country’s longest electrified tunnel   between Cherlopalli and Rapuru railway stations constructed in a horseshoe design.
This 6.7- km long tunnel constructed at a cost of Rs 437 Cr and has 44 Trolley Refuges and 14 Cross Passages has been rightly described as an engineering marvel. The tunnel opens viable rail connectivity between Krishnapatnam Port and its hinterland for goods train services and facilitates seamless freight transport
I am overwhelmed with emotion as I have travelled on this newly commissioned Obulavaripalli-Krishnapatnam line fulfilling my long-cherished childhood dream. The completion of the longest electrified tunnel in a record time has further enhanced my happiness. 
I am emotional because it passes through my native village and ancestral where I had spent my childhood. At that time nobody had even imagined that a train would be passing these hillocks one day. When I was minister this line was envisaged, planned , surveyed and sanctioned  and finally completed when I am the vice president now.
The new line covering a total length of 112 km has been completed at a cost of around Rs.1993 crore with nine stations along the route, 146 bridges, 60 road under bridges and two tunnels ( 1 km and 6.7 km). A salient feature is that it has no level crossings.
I am overwhelmed with emotion as I have travelled on this newly commissioned Obulavaripalli-Krishnapatnam line fulfilling my long-cherished childhood dream. The dedication of the longest electrified tunnel in a record time has further enhanced my happiness. 
This newly commissioned line of 112 km reduces the travel time to five hours as compared to the 10 hrs earlier for a goods train from Krishnapatnam Port to Obulavaripalli.
It also reduces distance by 72 kms for the trains coming from Guntakal Division to Krishnapatnam and reduces traffic density in Obulavaripalle - Renigunta - Gudur section.
It will facilitate operating freight trains on Obulavaripalli-Venkatachalam-Krishnapatnam Port while providing shortest path between Chennai-Howrah and Chennai-Mumbai rail routes.
The new line will ease congestion of both passenger carrying and freight carrying trains in Vijayawada - Gudur - Renigunta - Guntakal sections.
Significant growth in the freight traffic is expected and helps these hinterland areas in socio-economic growth.
Passenger Amenities at all Railway stations from Krishnapatnam to Rapuru:
At present, Krishnapatnam – Venkatachalam railway line is catering to the needs of the freight customers. In addition to serving the freight customer needs, upon my suggestion  the minister has agreed for operating passenger services also o­n this route, to give an added advantage to the general public of this region and to provide additional traveling facility for the people. Provision of various passenger amenities at all the Railway stations from Krishnapatnam to Rapuru are in progress.
O­nce passenger services start in this new line, it will provide safe and economic mode of transport for the people of this area.
I congratulate the Ministry of Railways, especially the South Central Railway (SCR) for executing this project through a special purpose vehicle  viz., Krishnapatnam Railway Company Limited (KRCL) consisting of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited, Krishnapatnam Port, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Sagar Mala Development Corporation, and NMDC.
I appreciate all the officers, engineers, electricians and workers for completing this mammoth project in a record time of 43 months.
In view of the importance of Krishnapatnam port-Obulavaripalle line for the development of the region, I had first taken up the proposal when Nitish Kumar was Railways Minister in Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet and had been pursuing it since then.
The launch of passenger services between Venkatachalam and Rapur would fulfill the long-pending demand of passengers of seven stations. I thank the Railway Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal and the Railway Board for accepting my suggestion to start the passenger services between Venkatachalam and Rapuru.

Jaihind. Thank you!