The seven-party committee spearheading the struggle for achieving a separate railway zone based at Visakhapatnam on Sunday decided to intensify its agitation by evolving a strategy and action plan in October by incorporating the views of all political leaders from the North-coastal Andhra region.
After the outright rejection of the Railway Board Chairman last month to consider creating a railway zone with Visakhapatnam as headquarters unless a political decision was taken to this effect, the Pratyeka Railway Zone Sadhana Committee met on the CPI office premises to chalk out the future course of action.
Panel convener J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy, district secretary of the CPI, and Chalasani Raghavendra Rao along with TDP representative V. Ganesh Kumar, BJP represented by city president M. Nagendra and T. Subbirami Reddy, Lok Satta by N. Venugopal Rao, PRP by Palla Srinivas decided to hold a meeting of leaders of all opposition parties representing any constituency in North coastal Andhra districts and invite the MPs, MLAs from the ruling Congress to seek their support also for the cause.
A separate meeting of the NGOs, political leaders from Visakhapatnam district would also be organised in October so that by October-end an action plan for intensifying the agitation could be prepared to put political pressure on the Railway Ministry and the Board. The panel also decided to incorporate the viewpoint of the intelligentsia from the region on the path to be taken to achieve the goal.
The panel would also make efforts to study the technical, financial and other aspects of carving out such a zone so that the Railway Board could be impressed upon on possible ways to end injustice towards the people from this region.
Operational aspects of trains not touching the Visakhapatnam main railway station, but getting diverted via Duvvada, which did not have proper communication facilities and infrastructure would also be discussed.
With Congress MPs and MLAs and Ministers from the region not joining the committee in its fight for the zone, this panel proposed to solicit the support of the Congress leaders also at any cost, but some of them hold a different view and wanted that the Waltair Division be merged with South Central Railway.