Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday inaugurated the longest electrified railway tunnel in the country, in Andhra Pradesh. The 112-km long railway line project between Krishnapatnam port and Obulavaripalli was constructed to ensure smooth transportation of minerals and industrial goods to and from the port. As part of the project, two tunnels were constructed; one which is 6.7 km long and another, which is 1 km long.
"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 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," Venkaiah Naidu said after the inauguration.
Built at a total cost of Rs 1,993 crore, the project acquired land spread across 1,900 acres and has 9 stations along the route. Officials said that the project reduces the distance between Venkatachalam and Obulavaripalle by 72 km.
As part of the project, 23 major bridges and 123 minor bridges were constructed, besides 60 Road under Bridges (RUBs), officials said.
"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 enhance my happiness. I am emotional because it passes through my native village and ancestral home where I had spent my childhood. At that time nobody had even imagined that a train would be passing these hillocks one day," Venkaiah Naidu added.
While at present, the railway line is catering only to the needs of goods trains, passenger trains are also expected to use the line soon.
"In addition to serving the freight customer needs, upon my suggestion the Railways Minister has agreed to operate 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. Once passenger services start in this new line, it will provide safe and economic mode of transport for the people of this area," the Vice President stated.