Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh government on Friday signed memorandum of understanding with the Indian Railways for setting up a joint venture company for taking up major rail projects in the state.
While many new railway lines will be built by the JV, the main objective is to develop at least 21 railway stations in the state akin to airports.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who is a member of Rajya Sabha from the state, took part in the programme through a video link from New Delhi while Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu,
Union Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapati Raju and others attended the function at the Railway Institute. Speaking from New Delhi, Suresh Prabhu said they were trying to tie up with banks and other financial institutions to fund the JV.
Foundation stone was also laid on the occasion for the Nadikudi-Srikalahasti new railway line while free high-speed WiFi facility was launched in Guntur railway station.
The Railway Minister also flagged off a new double-decker train between Tirupati and Visakhapatnam.
The renovated route-relay interlocking system at Vijayawada railway junction was also dedicated to the nation while a new hostel building of the Electric Traction Training Centre at Satyanarayanapuram was inaugurated.
The Chief Minister said Rs 300 crore was initially allotted for acquiring land for the Nadikudi-Srikalahasti railway line.
The 309-km line would propel economic growth in Chittoor, SPS Nellore, Prakasam and Guntur districts, he said.
In all, 2400 acres of land would have to be acquired for the project taken up at an overall cost of Rs 2999 crore.
Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas, South Central Railway General Manager Vasisht Joshi and other officials attended the event.