And the announcement has finally been made! Bringing an end to a long wait and confirming the numerous speculations, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, on Wednesday evening, announced that a new railway zone, headquartered in Visakhapatnam, will be established in Andhra Pradesh. The new zone will be christened as South Coast Railway.
“The matter has been examined in detail in consultation with stakeholders, and it has been decided to go ahead with the creation of a new zone, with headquarters at Visakhapatnam. The new zone shall be named South Coast Railway, short form SCoR. It will comprise of the existing Guntakal, Guntur, and Vijayawada Division,” Piyush Goyal said.
The Railways Minister further informed that the present Waltair division will be divided into two parts. One part will be incorporated in the new SCoR, and will be merged with the neighbouring Vijayawada division. The remaining portion, on the other hand, shall be converted into a New Division with headquarters at Rayagada under East Coast Railway in Odisha.
Addressing a press conference, Goyal said that the South Central Railway will comprise of Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Nanded divisions as at present. He also added that works towards establishing the new railway zone with Visakhapatnam as its headquarters will begin soon.
It may be recalled that BJP’s top brass from Visakhapatnam had met Piyush Goyal recently and urged him to announce the railway zone in Andhra Pradesh at the earliest. The leaders had stated that the issue of the zone had now turned into sentiment for the people of the state.
It may be noted that the announcement comes just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Visakhapatnam. The PM is slated to visit the city on 1 March and address a massive public meeting.