Two days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to port-city Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to attend a BJP, rally, the center this evening announced setting up a new Railway Zone, making Visakhapatnam as headquarter. Modi will address a public meeting in Visakhapatnam on March 1.
While this has been a demand of the people from this region since two decades, this was the assurance given by the Prime Minister himself during 2014 election rallies in the state.
Recently, during his visit to Guntur in Andhra Pradesh for a BJP ralley, Modi had faced protests from various political parties for not fulfilling of his promises to the state including railway zone, steel plant at Kadapa and special status to the state, as per the AP Recorganization Act, 2014.
Last week, AP BJP leaders met Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi and urged him to take a decision in this regard, ahead of Modi’s visit to the state. AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu also written a letter to Goyal yesterday seeking earliest decision in this regard.
As per item 8 of Schedule 13 (Infrastructure) of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, Indian Railways was required to examine establishing a new railway zone in the successor State of Andhra Pradesh.
Making announcement of railway zone, Goyal said this evening that the matter has been examined in detail in consultation with stake holders and it has been decided to go ahead with creation of a new zone with headquarter at Visakhapatnam.
The new zone named “South Coast Railway (SCoR)”, will comprise of existing Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada divisions. Waltair division shall be split into two parts. One part of Waltair division will be incorporated in the new zone i.e. in South Coast Railway and will be merged with the neighbouring Vijaywada division.
Remaining portion of Waltair division shall be converted into a new division with headquarter at Rayagada under East Coast Railway (ECoR). South Central Railway will comprise of Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Nanded divisions.