NELLORE: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday dedicated the longest electrified railway tunnel in the country between Rapuru and Cherlopalli to the nation. The Vice-president and Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi travelled through the tunnel in a special train from Venkatachalam. Speaking to the media, Venkaiah termed the 6.6-km electrified railway tunnel an “engineering marvel”.
The Vice-President recalled that he had proposed the project during Atal Bihari Vajpayee government’s tenure and the Modi government allocated funds for its completion.
He said the railway line reduces distance by 72 km for the trains coming from Guntakal division to Krishnapatnam. It will also facilitate freight services on Obulavaripalli-Venkatachalam- Krishnapatnam port and provide shortest route between Chennai, Howrah and Mumbai. He said the tunnel construction was completed in a record time of 43 months.
Venkaiah said initially it was proposed to use only for cargo purpose and the Railways considered his proposal to run passenger services. AP Irrigation Minister P Anil Kumar, Tirupati MP B Durga Prasad Rao and GM of South Central Railways Gajanan Mallya were present.