Injustice being done to Waltair Division, says Minister Balaraju

There is hardly anything to cheer for Visakhapatnam in the interim Railway budget, introduced by Railway Minister Mallikharjun Kharge in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

The Minister has announced an express train between Secunderabad – Visakhapatnam and a passenger train between Gunupur – Visakhapatnam.

A premium express train from Kamakhya to Chennai has been announced via Malda and Howrah.

It’s not known whether it would bypass Vizag and be diverted via Duvvada and whether a halt would be given at Duvvada. The same is the case with the Howrah – Yeswantpur AC weekly express via Bhubaneswar, Gudur and Katpadi. The East Coast Railway (ECoR) could recommend only a halt at Vizianagaram for this train as it had done in the past. The route of the Puri – Gandhidham express has not been specified.

These trains will pass through Vizag, if ECoR recommends to the IRTTC to include Visakhapatnam as a stoppage for them.

‘Zone only solution’

Minister for Tribal Welfare P. Balaraju decried the injustice being done to Waltair Division by the ECoR. He felt that creation of a new zone with headquarters at Visakhapatnam was the only solution to end the discrimination. “I have represented the matter to the Railway Minister and to the Minister of State for Railways and the Group of Ministers,” Mr. Balaraju said.

The Minister underlined the need to run one more train to either Kirandul or up to Araku, conduct of a survey for linking the tribal areas of Araku, Paderu and Chintapalli.

Praja Spandana president C.S. Rao said that the political leaders in Andhra Pradesh had failed to live up to the expectations of the people by failing to achieve anything on the long-pending demand for creation of a new railway zone with headquarters at Visakhapatnam. He felt that Visakhapatnam would continue to be neglected by ECoR and the only solution to end the injustice was to form a new zone.

He also found fault with the Railway Minister for favouring South Central Railway with more trains to cover areas in his native Karnataka.

He alleged that the ultimate aim of Mr. Mallilkharjun Kharge was to create a Railway Division in Gulbarga before the Election Code came into force.

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