On Wednesday, the centre confirmed that it would establish a new railway zone in Andhra Pradesh. Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal announced that the new zone will be named as South Coastal Railway, headquartered in Visakhapatnam, and will comprise of the existing Guntakal, Guntur, and Vijayawada Division. However, the centre’s decision to divide the present Waltair division into two parts has not gone down well with many people in Andhra Pradesh. State IT Minister Nara Lokesh took to Twitter to express his displeasure over the same.
Piyush Goyal informed that while one part of Waltair division will be incorporated in the new SCoR, and will be merged with the neighbouring Vijayawada division, the remaining portion shall be converted into a New Division with headquarters at Rayagada under East Coast Railway in Odisha. Finding fault with the same, Nara Lokesh posted a series of tweets on Wednesday.
“The Narendra Modi government has given birth to the child (Visakha railway zone) but has killed the mother (Waltair division),” Lokesh said. “Similar to the state bifurcation in the past, Andhra Pradesh has been handed over injustice in the formation of the railway zone too. While Hyderabad was given away to Telangana back then, now, the Waltair division, which generates revenue of Rs 6500 crores, has been given away to Odisha,” he further added.
The Minister slammed PM Modi for depriving the state of the major revenue generating division and leaving it with a division which not even generates Rs 500 crore through passenger traffic.
On the other hand, the state’s BJP leaders celebrated the announcement on Wednesday and said that the party was committed towards the development of Andhra Pradesh.