A day after he was elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh, railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday announced a number of major railway projects for the state, including a high-speed rail line between new capital Amaravati and Bengaluru.
He, however, remained non-committal on the establishment of a new railway zone with headquarters at Visakhapatnam, alleging that the erstwhile UPA government did not “specify” it in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.
“It is incumbent upon us do as much as possible in this regard,” Prabhu said after a three-hour-long meeting with chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu wherein railway projects related to the state were reviewed.
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The railway minister announced that two high-speed rail lines would be built between Visakhapatnam and Chennai and Bengaluru and Amaravati in collaboration with foreign countries.
The foreign collaborator would be decided after talks with different countries, he said.
“I held talks with French officials yesterday but that was only a preliminary meeting. We will talk with other countries as well and choose a partner,” Prabhu added.
He said a Special Purpose Vehicle\Joint Venture Company would be formed by the railways with AP government in a couple of months for taking up major rail projects in the state.
The minister also announced an aggregate capital investment of Rs 1,000 crore for setting up two new railway workshops at Kurnool and Tirupati and a wagon overhaul facility at Visakhapatnam.
These facilities would create hundreds of jobs, he said.
Prabhu also announced that a major Rail Neer plant would also be set up in Andhra Pradesh.