VIJAYAWADA: South Central Railway is gearing up for Godavari Pushkarams, in which lakhs of pilgrims from different parts of the country are expected to participate.
Speaking to mediapersons here Tuesday, SCR general manager PK Srivastava said adequate arrangements are being made to ensure that pilgrims visiting places like Rajahmundry quickly disperse from the railway Station once they alight there.
“While returning they should be able to relax a bit before catching the return train to their destinations. Necessary facilities like waiting halls, toilets, drinking water, food at economic price will be provided before the commencement of the event,” he said.
Srivastava, who had experience of working for Kumbh Mela at Haridwar and Ujjain earlier, said he is confident that his team of officers is up to the challenge of providing better amenities for lakhs of pilgrims participating in the Pushkarams. He said they have sought several additional rakes and are contemplating to have a chain of trains.
“What we want to see is that when the passenger returns to the station, there is a train available, which may not be to his long distance destination, but to nearby places like Vijayawada, Guntur, Visakhapatnam from where they can catch long distance trains. We do not want the people stranded at the railway station in Rajahmundry and want to clear the rush as fast as possible,” he said.
He wanted Vijayawada division officials to strive to make Vijayawada cleanest station like Secundrabad, which was described by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu as the top class station in the country. SCR GM, who presided over the launch of WiFi at Secunderabad Station earlier in the day, said they are expecting to have WiFi at Vijayawada in about a month’s time. Vijayawada is one of the six A1 stations, where WiFis have been proposed and the work is under progress.
Asked about the proposed multi modal transport system to the new capital city region, Srivastava opined that it is time to introduce EMUs and DMUs on mainline interconnecting smaller stations between Guntur and Vijayawada and Rajahmundry. He said 2-4 smaller stations like Mangalagiri between Vijayawada and Guntur and between Rajahmundry and Vijayawada should be developed as suburban stations.
Asked whether the railways has any issues with regard to land acquisition, he said there is no such problem at present, as the State government is more than willing to offer land and bear the share in the completion of the ongoing projects.
In regard to Rajdhani Express, he said the power cars and LHB coaches for the train have arrived here and in all probability it will start running within a fortnight. Asked about separate Railway Zone, he said he has no information. In regard to long pending Route Relay Interlocking (RRI) at Vijayawada, he said it will be completed by September or October.
Srivastava, who was at Vijayawada as part of Passengers and Customers Facilitation Fortnight that commenced on Monday, inaugurated the newly constructed general waiting lounge, two Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs), central help desk and the new facade lighting of the railway station.