Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu: Andhra Pradesh to have 2 high-speed rail lines with foreign collaboration

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Vijayawada | Published: June 4, 2016 7:10:16 PM

High-speed railway lines would be built between Visakhapatnam-Chennai and Bengaluru-Amaravati in collaboration with foreign countries, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said here on Saturday.

Suresh prabhuHigh-speed railway lines would be built between Visakhapatnam-Chennai and Bengaluru-Amaravati in collaboration with foreign countries, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said here on Saturday. (PTI)

High-speed railway lines would be built between Visakhapatnam-Chennai and Bengaluru-Amaravati in collaboration with foreign countries, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said here on Saturday.

The foreign collaborator would be decided after talks with different countries, he said.

“I held talks with French officials yesterday but that was only a preliminary meeting. We will talk with other countries as well and choose a partner,” the minister said.

Briefing reporters after a three-hour high-level meeting with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, he said a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)Joint Venture (JV) company would be formed by the railways with the state government in a couple of months for taking up major rail projects in the state.

“Through the proposed SPV, 21 railway stations in the state would be redeveloped as airports. The South-Central Railway General Manager would coordinate with the state government in this regard and review the works every month,” Prabhu said.

The Railway Minister also announced an aggregate capital investment of Rs 1,000 crore for setting up two new railway workshops at Kurnool and Tirupati and a wagon overhaul facility at Visakhapatnam.

These facilities would create hundreds of jobs, he said.

Prabhu also announced that a major Rail Neer plant would also be set up in Andhra Pradesh.

Two special tourist trains would also be introduced in the state, one of which would be run by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), he said.

“The second tourist train would be modelled on the Palace on Wheels and the Deccan Odyssey. We would work with the state government on this,” he said. Asserting that he has now become “a citizen of Andhra Pradesh”, following his election to Rajya Sabha from the state yesterday, Prabhu said he performed prayers at Lord Balaji temple atop Tirumala Hills today.

“Andhra Pradesh has Lord Balaji, the biggest asset. I discussed with the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams authorities this morning about developing a world-class railway terminal in Tirupati under Public-Private Partnership (PPP). I am informing the Chief Minister about this now,” the minister said.

“Andhra Pradesh would not be lacking in terms of railway support. The state is facing transition difficulties because of the bifurcation. Railways would do everything to help the state,” Prabhu said.

Chandrababu Naidu, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y Satyanarayana Chowdary, state Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas, besides several MPs and top railway officials were present.

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