Two more escalators will be coming up at the Vijayawada railway station and drinking water facility will be augmented by installing more water dispensers on the station premises.

Disclosing this to the media during his inspection of the Coaching Depot, General Manager of the South Central Railway M.S. Jayanth said that plans were afoot to introduce two new circular local trains connecting Chennai, Tirupati and Nellore and Vijayawada, Guntur and Tenali in the near future. “Once these trains are introduced, we will focus on developing passenger amenities in a few more suburban railway stations,” he said.

Assuring to focus more on passenger amenities in the next financial year too, Mr. Jayanth said that Rs. 185 crores was spent under this head in the current financial year. “For the financial year beginning April 1, the allocation has been increased by Rs. 60 crores, with which we will improve passenger amenities in all major railway stations,” he said.

Referring to the facilities at the coaching yard here, Mr. Jayanth said that mechanised cleaning system would be introduced at the yard so that the coaches could be maintained in a more hygienic condition.

“The mechanised cleaning system will help reduce the cost and time of coach maintenance. The system being introduced here is going to be the first of its kind in the railway division,” he said.

Freight loading

Pointing out that the railway zone occupied top slot in freight loadings, Mr. Jayanth said that at present the operating ratio stood at 82 per cent. The Vijayawada division alone had carted goods weighing 16 million tonnes in the current financial year, whereas the total freight from the division last year was only 10.89 million tonnes. Carting of coal,cement, fertilizers and food grains formed a major part of the earnings from the freight for the division, whereas Kakinada and Krishnapatnam ports were the major sources of revenue, he explained. Divisional Railway Manager Vashishta Johri and other officials accompanied Mr. Jayanth.

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