The IRTTC examines the proposals received from different Railway Zones for running of new passenger trains, revision of timings and extension of services of existing trains.

The Inter Railway Time Table Committee (IRTTC) meet, scheduled to be held in Goa on January 8 and 9, is a prelude to the Railway Budget 2013-14.

The IRTTC examines the proposals received from different Railway Zones for running of new passenger trains, revision of timings and extension of services of existing trains.

The recommendations are sent to Railway Board for inclusion in the budget.

The proposals of Waltair Division had already been sent to the East Coast Railway (ECoR) headquarters in Bhubaneswar for its clearance before they are placed in the IRTTC meet.

The trains, presently being diverted via Duvvada, should also be included in the IRTTC for revising the timings and to bring them to the city.

Ironically, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy seemed more worried about the revenues of Odisha and ECoR, when his attention was brought to the demand for creation of new zone with Visakhapatnam as headquarters.

“They (ECoR authorities) say that ECoR will not be economically viable, if Waltair Division is separated,” the Chief Minister told the media at the airport here during his recent visit.

Perhaps, Mr. Reddy is unaware that ECoR had extended some of the important trains, terminating at Visakhapatnam, to Bhubaneswar while failing to extend some trains, terminating at Bhubaneswar and Puri, to Visakhapatnam on a reciprocal basis, this despite Waltair Division contributing half of the total revenue of three divisions in the zone.

Our peoples’ representatives should nsure that the demands are placed at the IRTTC meet so that they could be included in the forthcoming Railway budget.

The immediate demands of the people of Visakhapatnam include: re-routing of the diverted trains through Visakhapatnam, extension of important trains like the Howrah to Titlagarh Ispat Express to Visakhapatnam, Chennai – Vijayawada Janshatabdi to Vizag, Howrah – Bhubaneswar Janshatabdi to Vizag and Vijayawada-Hubli bi-weekly Amaravati Express to Vizag.

There are demands for more south-bound trains with a number of persons from the region being employed in the software sector in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi.

There are also demands for extension of Vizag –Howarh Weekly to Machilipatnam and Digha – Vizag Weekly to Kakinada to provide connectivity to these places. It may be recalled that Railway Board officials had expressed their helplessness in the past and told that strong political will was necessary to achieve the demands.

It’s time our peoples’ representatives and Ministers take the right steps at the right time to show their commitment to the people of the region, who voted them to power.

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