One of the government’s key promises during the state bifurcation in 2014 still remains to be materialised. The assurance of setting up a railway zone at Visakhapatnam was much welcomed by the citizens three and a half years ago. But much to their disappointment and frustration, there haven’t been any visible strides taken by the centre in this regard.
It is also a known fact that the Odisha government has raised several objections against the formation of Visakhapatnam railway zone. The officials of our neighbouring state feel that the revenue of the East Coast Railway will be affected if a special zone is catered to Andhra Pradesh.
However, in what is coming as a good news, Railway Minister Piyush Goel has informed that the issue of setting up Visakhapatnam Railway Zone is at an advanced stage of consideration with the centre. Replying to a question raised at Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on Friday, Goel said that the government has been considering this particular issue of Andhra Pradesh. This zone, if it does become a reality, will have Visakhapatnam as its headquarters.
Also, Srikakulam MP K. Rammohan Naidu, after getting a nod from Lok Sabha authorities, is preparing to move a private member bill urging the centre to establish the much-awaited zone in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
The AP State Recognition Act mentioned a proposal to set up a railway zone for Andhra Pradesh with Visakhapatnam as its headquarters. The Srikakulam MP will be moving the private member bill in the name of Railway Zone Act, 2017. It has also been learned that the bill will propose the creation of Visakhapatnam Railway Zone with Vijayawada, Guntur, Guntaka, and Waltair divisions.