Visakhapatnam: The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Communist Party of India (CPI) have expressed disappointment over the declaration of Visakhapatnam as the headquarters of the new railway zone in Andhra Pradesh, calling it an “election gimmick.”
“Piyush Goyal has announced the special railways’ zone for Andhra Pradesh. We have been waiting for the demand for the last five years, in fact, it was there in the AP Reorganisation Act also…We are happy that they have given us the zone but there are still many issues that the minister has to clarify,” TDP leader Rammohan Naidu told ANI.
“We have been requesting the whole northern region of Andhra Pradesh to be included under this zone but that has not been clearly specified. It is unclear as to which lines are coming under this. We have said that the line which has been divided between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh should be done on an equal basis so that profit sharing is done equally between both the states. All this is looking like an election gimmick,” he added.
The TDP leader further said that that the party is going to fight for it and these issues need to be discussed and clarified by the Railways Ministry.
“We are going to fight until all these issues are clarified especially what is the boundary of the zone, what all stations are going to come – all these issues need to be discussed and fulfilled. Until then, they (Centre) cannot say that they have granted special railway zone for Andhra Pradesh,” Naidu said.
Echoing similar sentiments, senior CPI leader JVV Satyanarayana said, “We are not fully satisfied with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s statements. We demanded along the border division, a new railway zone.”
However, the BJP expressed happiness and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for the announcement of the new railway zone.
Goyal on Wednesday announced that the Indian Railways will create a new zone named ‘South Coast Railway’ (SCoR) with headquarter in Vishakapatanam, Andhra Pradesh.
The matter has been examined in detail in consultation with stakeholders and it has been decided to go ahead with the creation of a new zone with headquarter in Vishakapatnam, the railway minister said.
He also said the new zone is being created as per item 8 of Schedule 13 (Infrastructure) of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 under which the Indian Railways was required to examine establishing a new railway zone in the successor state of Andhra Pradesh.
The new SCoR will comprise of existing divisions Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada and the Waltair division will be split into two and one part will be incorporated in the SCoR while the other will be converted into a new division with its headquarter at Rayagada in Odisha, Goyal said.
The South Central Railway will comprise of Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Nanded divisions.