ANDHRA PRADESH

Raw deal to champion of BG line

NIZAMABAD, OCT. 3. The treatment meted out to the brain behind the popular agitation for early completion of the BG works between Mudkhed and Nizamabad, without whose initiative the long-cherished dream of locals would not have been fulfilled, has caused anguish.

The founder president of the Nizamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, P.R.Somani, was virtually ignored by the South Central Railway authorities and the local people's representatives during inauguration of the new BG line on Thursday, which was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Railways, Bandaru Dattatreya.

The services of Mr. Somani cannot be forgotten so easily. For his initiative, the long pending works would not have seen the light of the day. After the railway authorities abandoned the pending BG works between Mudkhed and Nizamabad, it was the chamber, which first raised the issue and then launched a largely successful agitation in 1998.

The tremendous response from the trade and business communities and the people of the town forced the people's representatives to realise the need for the early completion of the works.

The people's representatives and the leaders of the major political parties were unnerved by the growing support to the chamber's agitation.

Only a formal invitation card was sent to Mr. Somani. The BG line inauguration clearly brought out the bickering in the chamber.

As if to add salt to hurt feelings, he was not even offered a chair at today's function. The journalists saw Mr. Somani, standing in the back rows at the function and none thought it fit to take note of his presence.

What was unfortunate about the entire episode was that local people's representatives deliberately avoided making any reference to the contribution of Mr. Somani to the massive agitation launched four years ago. They complimented the Chamber of Commerce for the fruitful role in getting the BG works completed.

When even small-time leaders and others were given pride of place on the dais at the inauguration, the same courtesy was not extended to the founder president of the chamber.

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