Growth plans: Railway Board Chairman A.K. Mittal looking at an image of the proposed expansion work at the Tirupati railway station on Friday. | Photo Credit: ; - K_V_POORNACHANDRA_KUMAR
Three-directional expansion strategy under implementation
The ever-bustling Tirupati main railway station is all set to get de-congested, with the railway management planning southward, westward and eastward expansion.
Even as the station's vicinity is choking under heavy passenger movement and traffic snarls, expansion on the land-locked northern side is almost ruled out. Hence the authorities decided to expand on the south side and set the ball rolling recently on this front. After contemplating expansion of the Tirupati west station to park trains, the management recently augmented works in Tiruchanur on the east and upgraded it from 'C' class to 'B' class station.
Railway Board Chairman A.K. Mittal, who inspected the ongoing works on the southern side during his visit to Tirupati on Friday, announced that passenger influx would become more manageable in Tirupati in the coming days. “This three-pronged strategy of opening the southern entrance and having two stations on the east and west will help de-congest the station,” he said. The south side expansion will also help lay a sixth platform in the station, besides circulating area and parking lots.
Browsing through the graffiti indicating the progress of various projects such as Gudur-Renigunta doubling and remodelling of Renigunta yard, doubling in the Pakala-Dharmavaram and Tirupati-Katpadi routes and new broad gauge lines in the Nadikude-Srikalahasti and Kadapa-Bengaluru sections, he said that the projects would be speeded up to ensure completion by the deadline.
Responding to a query on the Balaji railway division headquartered at Tirupati, a proposal that is hanging fire for the last two decades, Mr. Mittal said that a new division would be considered only on operational grounds, indicating that the Guntakal division was catering to the region's requirements 'as of now'. With this, the board has clearly poured cold water on the hundreds of representations submitted by the public representatives to the railway ministers and officials over 20 years.
Guntakal Divisional Railway Manager V.P. Singh and Chief Engineer Gautam Srinivas were present.