There is no use of indulging in wishful thinking that a new railway zone with Visakhapatnam as headquarters will be sanctioned. It’s high time that the people of the region raised their voice of protest to stop the ‘continual injustice being done to Waltair Division’ by the Railways, opined Cheruvu Ramakotaiah, president of Vizag Development Forum (VDF).
Instead of feeling cheated after the budget, year after year, people of the region should participate in the postcard campaign to send 10,000 postcards each to Railway Minister and the Chairman of Railway Board by February 20 highlighting the ‘injustice’ being done to Waltair Division and listing the main demands, he said at a media conference here on Saturday.
He said that there were indications that Visakhapatnam would once again be sidelined in the ensuing Railway budget. It was the duty of each and every responsible citizen to send one postcard each to the Railway Minister and the CRB to exert pressure on the government to concede the demands. He said that the forum was prepared to organise a special train to Delhi with 1,000 people from Vizag to stage a dharna at Jantar Mantar, if the genuine demands of the people were not met in this budget.
There were 17 railway zones and 69 divisions in India. Waltair Division, despite being the sixth highest profit-earning division in the entire country, was being given a ‘raw deal’, be it in the introduction of new trains or creation of infrastructure. Mr. Ramakotaiah said that though Waltair Division was earning over Rs.4,800 crore annually, it was not even getting 10 per cent of that revenue. He alleged that the funds were ‘snatched’ by Odisha for laying of new lines in that State.