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Updated: December 15, 2012 12:17 IST

Waltair railway division cries for attention

B. Madhu Gopal
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An aerial view of the eight platforms at Visakhapatnam Railway Station. Photo: K.R. Deepak
The Hindu An aerial view of the eight platforms at Visakhapatnam Railway Station. Photo: K.R. Deepak

‘ECoR has not been giving the highest revenue earner its due’

One of the biggest railway junctions on the East coast, between Chennai and Howrah, has been getting a raw deal from the Railways over the years, be it in the allotment of new trains, quota of berths, and provision of amenities to passengers.

Waltair Division, which is the highest revenue earner for the East Coast Railway, has not been getting its due from the headquarters.

Five trains continue to be diverted via Duvvada, bypassing Visakhapatnam. And this is being done despite availability of eight platforms.

Though there are facilities to add four more platforms, the ECoR administration is reportedly delaying the same. It is said to have been considering a proposal to add two more platforms, but that is also being delayed inordinately. On the contrary, Bhubaneswar and Puri stations are being developed at an outlay of about Rs.200 crore. This indicates the “partisan” attitude of the ECoR administration, according to leaders of the Railway Zone Saadhana Samithi.

The leaders are demanding that a new zone be formed with Visakhapatnam as headquarters. They are also not averse to merging Waltair Division with the South Central Railway, pending formation of the zone. In other words, they are firm on delinking Waltair Division from ECoR to end the “injustice.”

Injustice alleged

Three trains originating from Visakhapatnam to Chennai, Bangalore, and Secunderabad have been extended up to Bhubaneswar and the demand for extension of important trains terminating at Bhubaneswar and Puri up to Visakhapatnam was not honoured by ECoR. This speaks volumes of the “injustice” by ECoR, according to the samithi leaders.

There is an urgent need to construct a third line from Gopalapatnam to Visakhapatnam, a distance of 7.5 km, to reduce traffic congestion. The odd timings and days of operation of the Visakhapatnam-Chennai weekly express, to be flagged off by Union Minister of State for Railways Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy on Saturday (today), is seen as an attempt by ECoR to extend it to Bhubaneswar in future on the plea of “lack of patronage.”

It is high time the Railway Minister took positive steps to end the “injustice,” feel people of the region and the samithi leaders.

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