Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda’s Railway Budget – 2014 drew criticism from all parties, they termed it a ‘big disappointment’ for the people of Andhra Pradesh in general and Visakhapatnam in particular.
The people of north Andhra expected that the budget would provide an answer to their decades-old struggles for establishment of a new zone with Visakhapatnam as headquarters. An overnight train to Tirupati, a daily express to Bangalore, increasing the quota of berths for Vizag and adding of two more platforms in Visakhapatnam railway station, were some of the other major demands. None of them figured in the budget announcement.
J. V. Satyanarayana Murthy, convener of Visakha Railway Zone Sadhana Samithi, described the budget as ‘unfair’ to Andhra Pradesh and north Andhra. “We thought that at least an announcement on establishment of a new zone in AP. The overnight express from Vizag to Tirupati was also not announced,” BJP leader M. Nagendra said.
MLC M.V.S. Sarma was disappointed that the promises made by Union Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and MP K. Haribabu on the new zone did not figure in the budget. CPI(M) district secretary K. Lokanadham said the budget had thrown cold water on the aspirations of the people of Vizag region.
Rajya Sabha Member T. Subbarami Reddy described it as the ‘worst ever Railway Budget’ presented.