In a meeting held in Delhi on 27 September 2022, the Railway Board Chairman VK Tripathi stated that the proposed South Coast Railway zone headquartered in Visakhapatnam is uncertain at the moment. The meeting was headed by Ajay Bhalla, Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and saw the participation of chief secretaries of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Sameer Sharma and Somesh Kumar, and other senior officials. Unsettled matters of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act of 2014 were the key focus areas of the meeting’s agenda.
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Announced in 2019 by the then Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, the new South Coast Railway zone was slated to have its head office in Visakhapatnam. Recently, a Member of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh questioned the current railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw regarding the same. He replied that funds have been allocated for the zone to commence functioning soon. Nevertheless, the ministry never carried out further actions despite stating that a DPR had been readied.
In yesterday’s meeting, Ajay Bhalla called the new zone a non-feasible venture. Further, he added that the matter would be passed on to the hands of the cabinet ministry to take a final call. Anguished by this statement, several politicians and locals of Vizag expressed their dissatisfaction.
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