The time has come for various organisations and political parties to rise in unison to demand establishment of the headquarters of the proposed South Coastal Railway Zone in Visakhapatnam.

The agitations being organised by the NGOs for more than a decade now and political parties during the last couple of years on the banner of Railway Zone Sadhana Samithi will not have any meaning, if they do not take the battle to the streets of Delhi to demand Vizag its rightful share, BJP leader Cheruvu Ramakotaiah said. He wanted that a strong signal should be urgently sent to the Centre on the aspirations of the local people ‘before the bureaucratic lobby from Odisha influences the political leadership in Delhi’.

The people of the region have pinned their hopes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu for achieving the zonal headquarters. Visakhapatnam MP K. Harbibabu, who is also the State BJP president, and Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu are said to have already discussed the issue with Railway Minister in Delhi.

“Zone headquarters in Vizag will facilitate better management of freight and cargo and speedy decisions for the benefit of trade and industry,” says Vizag Development Council convener O. Naresh Kumar. Vizag meets all the requirements like availability of railway land, presence of a major port and industries, which require assured supply of wagons on which quick decisions have to be taken by the headquarters.

Representatives of various organisations like Praja Spandana, Uttarandhra Rashtriya Samithi and retired railway employees are not convinced as they have been seeing Ministers taking the issue up with successive Railway ministers during the last 10 years. They feel that political lobbying in Delhi should be continued until a firm assurance was received from the Railway Minister in this regard.

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