Close on the heels of deciding to make 100% disinvestment in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), against the sentiments of Telugu people, came yet another shocking blow to the Vizagites from the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal which angered the North Andhra people. It is like a sprinkling of salt on the grievous wound. In reply to the question posed by TDP MP K Ravindra Kumar, about the fate of Waltair Divison in the East Coast Railway, the Railway Minister said that Waltair Division would soon be a thing of the past.
After dilly-dallying for a long, the demand for a separate railway zone has been created in a hasty way just before the 2019 Lok sabha elections with headquarters at Visakhapatnam. Even after the creation of the new railway zone South Coast Railway Zone (S Co R), no progress has been made so far except the preparation of a detailed project report by the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) and subsequent submission of the same to the Railway Board.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, Railway Zone Sadhana Samiti leader and CPI State Joint Secretary JV Sathyanarayana Murthy on Sunday said the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is harsh on the people of Andhra Pradesh, particularly those from Uttaranahdra. We will not hesitate to launch yet another agitation demanding for the SCoR zone along with the Waltair division if time demands. He said Officer on Special Duty (OSD) appointed by the central government for zone operations sent proposals worth Rs. 172 crore. It is unfortunate that the Union Government has allocated a meager amount of Rs 3 crore for the railway zone.
The Samithi has taken strong exception to the statement by Union Railway Minister that Waltair Division is a forgotten chapter. Stating further, Sathyanarayana Murthy said in the name of the zone, the centre is doing away with the 125-year old Waltair Division. He said there are also divisions of Vijayawada, Guntur and Guntakal. But, BJP was trying to do away with the Waltair Divison. The RZSS President said that the ruling YSRC, which has 151 MLAs, 22 MPs and six Rajya Sabha members, was going nothing to exert pressure on the centre. He said the YSRC should take an all-party delegation to get the railway zone and Waltair Divison.