An expert committee had said in 2016-17 itself that the proposed South Coastal Railway Zone (SCoR) with Visakhapatnam as its headquarters was not viable, but the Ministry of Railways went ahead with it and the same was approved by the Union Cabinet in fulfilment of the long-cherished dream of the people of Visakhapatnam, BJP Rajya Sabha member G.V.L Narasimha Rao said on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Narasimha Rao, while reacting to the media reports that the railway zone proposal had been shelved, said that Railway Board Chairman V.K. Tripathi told him over phone that the proposal was not dropped, and that sanction was accorded after taking into account all the administrative and operational requirements.
Land needed for the construction of the zonal office and residential quarters was identified and works were poised to be taken up sooner than later. Besides, the Ministry decided to set up Rayagada Division in Odisha as Waltair Division would become the headquarters of the SCoR zone.
No going back: Veerraju
Meanwhile, BJP State president Somu Veerraju said there was no going back on the railway zone issue and it would be operationalised soon while pointing out that the Union Cabinet itself had sanctioned it.
Addressing the media during the Swachh Bharat programme organised as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fortnight-long birthday celebrations on the Krishna riverbank at Ibrahimpatnam, Mr. Veerraju said the railway zone, which was promised in the A.P. Reorganisation Act, 2014, was given in-principle clearance, and works would commence at the earliest.
He said it was unfortunate that a section of the media reported that the railway zone proposal had been given up by glossing over the fact that the delay was due to pendency of land acquisition by the State government.