Political parties, except the Congress, launched a joint agitation demanding creation of separate Railway Zone with Visakhapatnam as headquarters. On Saturday the parties conducted a signature campaign in the ailway station.

CPI, Telugu Desam, CPI (M), Praja Rajyam and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and workers organised the signature campaign from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Leaders of the parties decided to conduct a dharna in front of the Divisional Railway Manager's office here on Monday. People of this region are demanding formation of Waltair Railway Zone as they are being neglected in spite of Waltair Division being one of the highest revenue-earning Divisions in the country.

CPI district secretary J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy, Polit Buro member of Praja Rajyam and MLA Ganta Srinivasa Rao, CPI (M) district secretary Ch. Narasinga Rao, TDP leader Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar, BJP's city president Nagendra and convenor of Uttarandhra Rakshana Vedika S.S. Siva Shankar, CPI city secretary A.J. Stalin, assistant secretary M. Pydiraju, CPI (M) city secretary K. Lokanadham, BJP's senior leader J. Prudhviraj, PR's Palla Srinivas and others participated.

Mr. Satyanarayana Murthy said MPs and MLAs of Visakhapatnam had never spoken against the injustice done to the region and even now they did not support the demand for a separate Railway Zone.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao regretted that the demand for a separate Railway Zone was more than a decade old but the rulers did not concede it. Agitation would be intensified in phases, he said.

Even basic amenities were not being provided in Waltair Division, Mr. Narasinga Rao said. He demanded that the trains passing through Duvvada be diverted to Visakhapatnam station. DRM's statement that it was not possible to divert trains from Duvvada to Visakhapatnam showed the step-motherly attitude of Railway authorities towards this area, said Mr. Ganesh Kumar. Also, special trains must be run from here to all tourist places and all special trains here must be regularised, Mr. Nagendra said.

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