Vizag status as India’s Top-1 Cleanest Station does not bring any Cheer to Railway Zone protagonists

Visakhapatnam City Railway station declared the cleanest in the country but no indication for a separate Railway zone makes railway zone protagonists unhappy.

VISAKHAPATNAM: Close on the heels of Visakhapatnam being declared the third cleanest city in the country under the Swachh Survekshan- 2017 survey, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday declared the city railway station the cleanest one in the country, followed by Secunderabad and Jammu.

This has given an impetus to the long-pending demand for a separate railway zone with Vizag as headquarters, if elation in various circles is any indication.

Hailing the declaration, Visakhapatnam (North) MLA Vishnu Kumar Raju said, “The time has come to raise the pitch for our demand. ”

The MLA said the credit goes to the people of Vizag, railway officials, contract workers and the passengers who have adhered to cleanliness norms.

Anakapalle MP Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao said that the declaration had come at the right time. “We will now campaign harder for the zone and get more projects to improve connectivity to the city,” he told.

Welcoming the declaration, Ch. Narasinga Rao, CPI (M) State secretariat member, said, “We should not become complacent with the ratings and forget our main demand for the zone. Moreover, the efforts of the contract workers who toil day and night to keep the station clean should be rewarded by regularising them. The workers do not have PF, ESI and even rest rooms, they should be given minimum basic amenities.”

O. Naresh Kumar, CEO of Symbiosis Technologies, said the ranking was the first step in a journey of 1,000 miles.

“It is good that our city’s railway station is ranked number one in the country. And it should serve as a motivation to develop it on a par with the railway stations in advanced countries such as Sweden and Japan,” he said.

The survey was carried out for a total 407 stations, of which 75 are in the A1 category and the rest in the A category. Visakhapatnam topped in the A1 category.