Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, on Wednesday, announced that a new railway zone will be established in Andhra Pradesh, with Visakhapatnam as its headquarters. To be named as South Coast Railway, the railway zone will consist of the existing Guntakal, Guntur, and Vijayawada Division. However, the centre’s announcement that the Waltair division would be divided into two, has not been going down well with a few sections of people. While Nara Lokesh tweeted yesterday expressing his displeasure, Forum for Development of North Andhra (FDNA) has written a letter to the centre expressing concerns over the same.
In a letter addressed to the Minister of Railways, General Secretary of FDNA, Aja Sarma wrote,
“Yesterday, you have announced a new railway zone with headquarters at Visakhapatnam. Though belated, it is a welcome decision. But it should have been made in 2014 itself.
Even in this announcement, you have mentioned that existing Waltair division will be made into two parts and one will be merged by creating a new division at Rayagada. and another part will be merged in the present Vijayawada division. The net result is the present Waltair division will no longer be there. As you might be aware, this Waltair division is established in British India in 1893 and have a history of over a century. Since from inception it is one among the highest earning divisions in Indian railways. In recent period it has earned reward shields in eight categories. Instead of strengthening such a division, it is a strange that you choose to totally annulling this.
Railways is a national organisation and your move may lead to narrow regional feelings. hitherto entire Waltair division is in east coast zone with headquarters at Bhubaneswar. Now, some parts of Odisha will be new Visakhapatnam zone. There will not be an issue in this, rather it will be a message of unity. Hence, we appeal you to continue Waltair division in the present form and speed up the process of establishing a new zone with headquarters at Visakhapatnam.”