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Vijayawada lays platform for Krishna fete

Ch. R. S Sarma

A new platform under construction at the expanded Vijayawada railway station with three new platforms meant for passenger trains. — Vijaya Bhaskar

AS THE Krishna Pushkaram fete approaches, the Vijayawada division of the South Central Railway is gearing up for the 12-day river fete set to begin on August 28.

The Vijayawada railway station is being upgraded for the event. Works worth Rs 9 crore have been taken up at the station for improvement of infrastructure and passenger amenities.

Three new platforms are being constructed, exclusively for passenger trains, as a permanent measure. It is estimated by officials that the Krishna Pushkaram, observed once in 12 years, may draw three crore pilgrims.

According to Mr J. M. Jagannath, the Divisional Railway Manager, the new platforms are under construction on the Tarapet side, taking the total to 10.

A large area is being developed there for passenger movement. "We have demolished the goods shed and shifted it to an area near the milk factory.

The new platforms are being built in that site. Vijayawada, being one of the busiest junctions in the South, the need for increasing the platforms has been sorely felt for a long time. We have taken up the work on the occasion of Pushkaram,'' he said.

The finishing touches are being put on the platforms and he is confident that they will be ready for the fete.

A new footbridge is being constructed connecting the new platforms with the existing ones. There will also be a separate entrance.

Pushkaram specials: Mr Jagannath has said that the Railways is running 360 Pushkaram specials between Vijayawada and seven other stations.

Besides, 270 extra coaches will be provided in the regular trains passing through Vijayawada. "Depending on the pilgrim rush, we will increase the number,'' he said.

The requisite number of toilets, first-aid centres and booking counters will be provided at Vijayawada and the other stations to make the journey as comfortable as possible for the passengers, Mr Jagannath has said.

More than a thousand Railway Protection Force personnel will be deployed to look after the safety of the passengers and medical teams will be on service round the clock at the stations, he has added.

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