Special Correspondent

Continued neglect on the rail map deplored

  • Forum wants regional MPs and MLAs to intensify pressure
  • Region losing out to Orissa in job opportunities

    VISAKHAPATNAM: Irritated and agitated over the continued neglect of Visakhapatnam in the railway map due to diversion of trains and non-introduction of new train services, Praja Spandana, a city based NGO, has announced a mass movement to highlight the rights of the rail users in the city.

    Resignation call

    The forum also wanted the MPs and MLAs of the North coastal Andhra Pradesh to submit their resignation en masse so as to bring pressure on the State government and the ruling UPA Government at the centre to immediately take up the demand with the railway ministry which include formation of a separate railway zone with Visakhapatnam as headquarters.

    Callous attitude

    Praja Spandana president C.S. Rao, talking to media persons, said that due to the indifferent and callous attitude of the East Coast Railway authorities for whom the Waltair railway division is a golden goose, the north coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh were witnessing negative growth.

    The people had to depend on ECoR at Bhubaneswar even for a small matter relating to rail operation.

    In fact, the area has become south coastal Orissa instead of north coast AP in the railways map, he said.

    Low interest

    A senior member of the NGO N. Srinivasa Rao wondered why the ruling Congress Government in the State was remaining silent on the issue whereas the Kerala Government was fully involved in the protest against formation of a separate Salem division bifurcating the Palakkad railway division.

    P. Rama Rao, a retired railway employee, claimed that the people of Orissa were getting job opportunities in the railways including in the Waltair division at the cost of their counterparts in north coastal Andhra Pradesh.

    Two zones

    All India OBC Railway Employees' Association divisional secretary P. Rajasekhar said the people of the area would not rest until a separate zone - South East Coast Railway, was formed.

    He justified the possibility of forming two zones in a state (i.e., in addition to South Central railway at Hyderabad) and pointed out the example of Mumbai (Western and Central railways) and Kolkata (Eastern and Southern Eastern railways).