VIJAYAWADA: THOUGH the Central Government is non-committal on setting up of a new railway zone in Visakhapatnam, the Ministry of Railway has come up with a proposal to accord international status to four railway stations in the State. A circular in this regard was issued by the Ministry of Railways recently seeking the officials of Vijayawada, Guntur, Kurnool and Guntakal stations to send proposals on or before April 10 for taking up various development works. Each station will be sanctioned Rs 25 crore by the Railway Ministry for providing modern facilities.
As part of the proposal,the railway stations will be developed on par with airports in terms of passenger amenities. The Centre has allocated budget for developing passenger amenities at the railway stations. “Vijayawada station, which is under A1 category, registers over one lakh footfalls a day. We have already called forbids to execute the redevelopment project in the station. Food courts, shopping malls, pharmacies, budget hotels, ATMs, Internet cafes, executive lounges, cafeterias, multi-level parking and cinema theatres are likely to come up on the station premises,” said Vijayawada Divisional Railway Manager R Dhanunjayalu.