Vizagapatnam (1907)

"Vizagapatam", Vol. 1, by W. Francis, District Gazetteers Series, Madras Government Press, 1907

Made available by the Internet Archive.
Source: Library of the University of California, Los Angeles Edited by R Sivaramakrishnan. Posted to IRFCA on: August 16, 2008.

There is only this much about the railways in the district:

[p. 144]

The district is traversed from south to north by a broad-gauge line which was built by the State and is now worked as far as Waltair by the Madras Railway Co., and from thence onwards by the Bengal-Nagpur Railway Co. The former section (61 miles) was opened to traffic in 1893 and the latter (76 miles) in the following year. This line enters the district at Payakaraopeta by a bridge of four spans of 100 feet across the river which forms the boundary between Vizagapatam and Godavari, and passes to Anakapalle (crossing the Sarada on a bridge of six spans of 100 feet), Waltair, and the beach at Vizagapatam. Returning on its tracks for a short distance, it makes a detour to avoid the Simhachalam hills and goes on over the Gostani (five spans of 100 feet) to Vizianagram and thence across the Champavati near Nellimarla (four similar spans) to the boundary of the district on the Langulya river opposite Chicacole.

Another line, which has long been projected, was first surveyed in 1881, and is at last to be actually begun is that from Vizianagram to Baipur in the Central Provinces, vid Gajapatinagaram, Bobbili, Parvatipur, Rayagada and the Kalyana Singapur valley, through the ghats near Satikona by a tunnel 1,000 feet long and 1,388 feet above the sea, and so into the Central Provinces by the valley of the Tel river. The length in this district will be 133 miles. The original 1881 survey was made by Mr. K. F. Nordmann and his report (G.O,, No. 2366, Public Works, dated 13th September 1882) stated that the difference between the cost of following the above route and of carrying the line by the alternative alignment up the Pottangi ghat, down to Jeypore, and thence northwards via Naurangpur was slightly

[p. 145]

in favour of the latter route, which, though steeper, was shorter. The country alongside this latter is also richer than the Rayagada valley, where there is little irrigated land. The authorities however considered that the difficulties of the ghats up to Pottangi and down to Jeypore would probably prove more considerable than was anticipated and that the cost of working trains up the heavy inclines on that line would be great, and preferred the easier route now finally selected. Mr. Nordmann suggested that, if this was chosen, a road should be carried from Naurangpur eastwards to Rayagada to tap the rich wet area round the former place and Kotapad, but this would have to cross a saddle 2,700 feet above the sea and about 25 miles of it would be within the Kalahandi State. An easier line would probably be that from Kalvana Singapur to Maidalpur and thence through Pappadahandi to Naurangpur.

Connected with the new line is the question of the construction of a harbour at Vizagapatam - or perhaps Bimlipatam - for the export of the produce of the Central Provinces which is expected to pour down to the sea. Calcutta is said to have already as much trade as it can cope with, and an alternative outlet is considered necessary on this ground alone. The steps which should be taken, and the agency and funds which should be employed, are now under consideration.

Vizagapatam and Bimlipatam are regularly visited by the boats of the British India Steam Navigation Co., and Clan Line steamers call at intervals at the former place for the manganese from the Garividi mines. Within recent memory a regular fleet of schooners, owned and manned by natives, used to ply from Vizagapatam, and boats of this class were built in the backwater there, but the steamers have now captured all the trade to Burma and the coasting traffic is monopolized by the railway.

But the chapter, which commences on p. 133, has vivid descriptions of the roads which were being laid on difficult territory in the Agency areas around Jeypore towards Koraput, which decided the alignment of the railway that was built a century later.

The original source material used on this page is believed to be out of copyright, and/or these extracts are believed to be fall within the scope of fair use under copyright law. Material selection and editing by R Sivaramakrishnan, 2008.