CPI leader describes Members of Parliament from the State as ‘inefficient'

The Railway budget has evoked strong resentment among the people for the ‘neglect' of Visakhapatnam and north Andhra region. The long pending demand of the people of the region for a separate Railway Zone, with headquarters in Visakhapatnam, not finding a mention in the budget evoked strong protests from various sections and political parties.

The non-introduction of the Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam Duronto Express, which was announced in the last budget, lack of allocation in the budget for modernisation of Visakhapatnam Railway Station, no proposals for laying of new lines and the general hike in fares has come in for severe criticism from all parties barring the Congress.

Ironically, Rajya Sabha Member T. Subbarami Reddy welcomed the Railway Budget and described it as ‘positive' for the initiatives on safety, station development, road over bridges and under bridges and green toilets on all express trains. He also welcomed the allocations to Waltair Division for developmental works including improvement of Duvvada Station and introduction of a few new trains, which he claimed to have strongly fought. He, however, expressed unhappiness at the increase in the cost of platform ticket and in the General and Sleeper Class fares and said that he would take up the issue in the discussions on the budget in the Rajya Sabha.

‘Indifference'

Communist Party of India (Marxist) District Committee secretary Ch. Narasinga Rao, Greater Visakha City Committee secretary B. Ganga Rao and executive committee member G.N. Rajeswara Rao described the budget as another ‘letdown for Visakhapatnam'. They said it was a reflection of the ‘indifference' of the Central Government towards Visakhapatnam. They said that Union Minister of State for HRD D. Purandeswari, Rajya Sabha Member T. Subbarami Reddy, Ministers from the State and MLA s should own responsibility for the sorry state of affairs. Dr. Ganga Rao lamented that Ms. Purandeswari and Mr. Subbarami Reddy had not given any importance to fight for the railway zone while leaving no stone unturned to stake a claim for the party ticket in the 2014 elections.

CPI district committee secretary described MPs from the State as ‘inefficient'.

A rally was taken out by the party from RTC Complex to the DRM s Office, where an effigy of the Railway Minister was burnt to protest against the injustice to north Andhra in the budget. Party's city secretary M. Pydiraju and AP Mahila Samakhya district secretary A. Vimala participated.

Former Corporator and YSR Congress Party leader G.V. Ravi Raju said it was unfortunate that Visakhapatnam was being given a raw deal though it was contributing more than 50 per cent of the revenue to East Coast Railway Zone. “Contrary to the promises made by Ms. Purandeswari and Mr. Subbarami Reddy of striving for a separate zone, no mention was made about it in the railway budget which was a reflection of their ‘inefficiency',” he added.

‘No promise on jobs'

East Coast Railway Shramik Union criticised the railway budget saying it was not staff-oriented. Union assistant general secretary B. Damodara Rao said there was no promise to generate jobs and introduce new trains to North Andhra. However, he welcomed the importance given to safety and health.

Keywords: Railway budget