‘MPs should bring pressure on Centre to achieve the demand’

Here’s last chance for our MPs to prove their commitment to the development of Visakhapatnam region. Railway Minister Mallikharjun Kharge has announced that a supplementary budget will be presented during the winter session of Parliament, beginning on December 5. Our MPs can take up the injustice meted out to Waltair Division during the last one decade under the East Coast Railway (ECoR) dispensation and ensure that a new railway zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam is established at the earliest. The imminent bifurcation of the State makes this decade-long demand ‘possible’ as the Zones Reorganisation Committee has already recommended setting up of one zone in each State.

A number of organisations such as Praja Spandana, Uttarandhra Rakshana Vedika, individuals and Railway union leaders have already suggested de-linking of Waltair Division from ECoR and setting up of a new zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam by merging Waltair, Vijayawada, Guntur and Guntakal Divisions.

CII Vizag Zone Chairman G. Sambasiva Rao has submitted a memorandum to Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D. Purandeswari seeking her intervention in achieving the rightful demand of the people.

The huge freight and tourist potential of Visakhapatnam make it the ideal choice to set up the headquarters of the new zone.

Major revenue earner

Waltair Division, earned a gross revenue of Rs.5,642 crore during 2012-13 as against the gross revenue of Vijayawada Division (South Central Railway) at Rs.2,933 crore and the gross revenue of Guntur Division (SCR) at Rs.468.46 crore during the same period.

Rajya Sabha Member T. Subbarami Reddy has submitted memoranda to the Prime Minister, the Railway Minister and the Railway Board Chairman seeking creation of a new zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam. But, simply meeting those in power and issuing statements are not enough to achieve the just demands of the people.

The MPs must bring pressure to ensure that the demands are fulfilled so that they can approach them for votes in the next election, said Praja Spandana president C.S. Rao.