Southern Central Railway received a mixed bag in its share of the Indian Railway Budget 2013-14. While AP failed to get any big projects, quite a number of new services and extensions were granted. The budget, hailed as “austere” failed to resonate well with the political parties here, but is projected to fight the severe cash crunch the Indian railways is undergoing. The most important thing in the Budget was the stress on participation of States in all major projects. The four projects include inter-state lines between Chikkaballapur (Karnataka) and Puttaparthy Satya Sai Nilayam (Anantapur district), and between Cumbum (Tamil Nadu) and Proddatur (Kadapa district). The other two projects are proposed between Kondapalli and Kothagudem, and between Manuguru and Ramagundam in AP. The new lines are expected to help increase connectivity in the colliery areas. Other major announcements were the plan to set up a Coach Mid-Life Rehabilitation (MLR) workshop at Kurnool in collaboration with the State Government, setting up of an exclusive centralised institute for finance officers at the Secunderabad Indian Railways Institute of Financial Management (IRIFM), setting up of a ‘Rail Neer Bottling’ plant at Vijayawada and imparting skills related to trade to the youth in the railway department at Kazipet, under the National Skill Development programme.
Eight new trains have been introduced in the State: Chennai–Nagarsol (for Sai Nagar Shirdi) Express (weekly) via Renigunta, Dhone, Kacheguda, Kakinada– Mumbai Express (bi-weekly), Kurnool Town–Secunderabad Express (daily), Mangalore– Kacheguda Express (weekly) via Dhone, Gooty, Renigunta, Coimbatore, Nizamabad– Lokmanya Tilak (T) Express (weekly), Tirupati–Puducherry Express (weekly), Tirupati– Bhubaneswar Express (weekly) via Visakhapatnam and Una/ Nangaldam–Hazoor Saheb Nanded Express (weekly)via Anandpur Saheb, Morinda, Chandigarh, Ambala.
In addition to this, three originating trains, Nandyal–Kurnool Town Passenger (Daily), Purna-Parli Vaijnath Passenger (Daily) and Chennai-Tirupati MEMU Service, eight pass through services and extension of six originating trains have been granted to Andhra Pradesh. Surveys between Dornakal and Miryalaguda, and between Manchiryal and Adilabad towns in the Telangana region were promised. However, the four new lines, the new services, and the electrification required for these services were granted based on socio-economic factors and participation of the state governments. Opposition parties expressed dissatisfaction over this at the parliament, when Pawan Kumar Bhansal was announcing the highlights of the Railway Budget.