विसाखपट्नम Visakhapatnam (VSKP): The Left parties have flayed reported recommendation of the Committee appointed to recommend a new railway zone in Andhra Pradesh that a new zone could be formed with Vijayawada, Guntur and Guntakal Divisions and continuation of Waltair Division in East Coast Railway (ECoR).
Any such move to leave out Waltair Division from the proposed new zone would spark widespread resentment and agitation from the people of north Andhra region.
The recommendation also speaks volumes for the indifference of the ruling party leaders from the region in meeting the aspirations of the people, CPI and CPI(M) leaders felt.
CPI(M) State secretariat member Ch. Narasinga Rao said the committee report made a ‘mockery’ of the promises made by Telugu Desam and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders that the new zone would be established with headquarters here. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Visakhapatnam MP K. Haribabu had declared that Visakhapatnam would be made headquarters of the new railway zone as part of the decentralised development of the State.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared that Visakhapatnam would be made a ‘Smart City’ but had failed to even meet the long-pending demand to make Visakhapatnam headquarters of the new railway zone, which was an indication of the ‘hollowness’ of his promise, he said.
“Lack of political will is coming in the way of achieving the railway zone headquarters in Visakhapatnam. The Chief Minister should meet the Prime Minister along with MPs of all political parties in the state and convey the aspirations of the people. Mr. Haribabu should continually pursue the matter,” said Railway Zone Saadhana Samithi convener and CPI state assistant secretary JV Satyanarayana Murthy.
“There are two ports and industry majors like Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and HPCL which require rakes to carry raw materials and send finished products. Their needs would be addressed only if the rail zone headquarters is here,” he added.