While the renewed thrust laid by the Union government on maritime infrastructure development is being appreciated, there are some projects craving for its attention to make a headway long after being kept on the backburner.
One such critical project that will be of tremendous help in economical movement of cargo to and from the greenfield port that is in the process of being established at Machilipatnam is the railway line connecting Machilipatnam (Krishna district) with Repalle (Bapatla district).
According to reliable sources, bidirectional movement of freight is essential for Machilipatnam port to achieve its commercial objectives, and it aids in the overall economic development of the region.
The proposed line will facilitate faster movement of goods towards Vijayawada, and it connects to Guntur and from there to Karnataka and Kerala through Tirupati.
Incidentally, Guntur city is well connected down south via Tenali to Chennai, Guntakal etc. while the Nadikudi - Srikalahasti line, which is considered the backbone of the region, is also fast developing.
The new line, which will be about 42 km-long, avoids congestion at Vijayawada. Repalle is also connected through a radial single line from Guntur via Tenali.
Vijayawada Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee member Velagapudi Sambasiva Rao told The Hindu that so far the Railways did not appear to be serious about laying the Machilipatnam - Repalle line.
It was said to be referred by the Vijayawada division officials to higher authorities, but to no avail, he said, and observed that even a proper estimate was not prepared.
AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry Federation president-elect Potluri Bhaskar Rao said the proposed line would be useful for freight customers as well as the travelling public, and stressed the need to give it a tangible shape sooner than later.