The past week saw people’s representatives from Andhra Pradesh exert pressure on the centre to fulfill the promises made to the state during the state bifurcation in 2014. Creation of a special railway zone with Visakhapatnam as its headquarters was one of the major demands that the Andhra MPs put forth to the centre in both the houses of the parliament. Reportedly, it has been learned that the centre has mellowed down a bit to the pressure exerted and seems to have given out the right signals towards the creation of the railway zone.
As per the reports, Union Minister Sujana Chowdary, who has been conducting talks with the leaders from Odisha and minister from Odisha Devendra Pradhan, seems to have assured them that the creation of the new railway zone wouldn’t create any problem to Odisha. Devendra Pradhan and other leaders too are learned to have given their nod for the zone’s creation.
It has also been reported that going ahead with the same, the concerned authorities from the centre have directed their office staff to fulfill all the formalities and keep the required documents required.
Meanwhile, there have been speculations that the railway zone might have another city as its headquarters. These speculations have been scoffed by the TDP officials who claimed that they were firm on establishing the special railway zone with Visakhapatnam as its headquarters.
“Our stand is very clear. We are not considering any other place,” HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao was quoted as saying.
In addition to the Special Railway Zone, the state government had also urged the centre to release funds for the purposes of Amaravati, Kadapa Steel Plant and a railway division for the stretch between Vijayawada and Guntakal. The centre, however, hasn’t allocated “sufficient funds” and the leaders feel, the Modi government has handed over a “betrayal” to the people of Andhra Pradesh. Not mentioning the Polavaram project in the budget was another reason that had irked the state’s MPs.