Modi’s visit to Vizag: Naidu calls for peaceful protest

Modi’s visit to Vizag: Naidu calls for peaceful protest

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. file photo

Even as the Andhra Pradesh unit of the BJP and the main Opposition the YSR Congress party welcomed the creation of a special railway zone with Visakhapatnam as its headquarters, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Babu Naidu expressed displeasure over its composition.

“The zone is a Maya. The loss to the state is to the extent of Rs 7000 as the money making cargo has been allocated to newly created Rayagada and the state is left with the passenger earnings. The lope sided division will cost the state dearly,” Chandrababu said.

“Is this Modi’s gift for YS Jagan’s house warming ceremony,” Chandrababu questioned.

Sticking to his earlier call to TDP cadre to oppose Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the port city on Friday, by wearing black badges and exhibiting black flags, Chandrababu said that Modi is not welcome till all the assurances made to the state are fulfilled.

The proposed new Zone called “South Coastal Railway” will not have stations in the geographical area of Andhra left with the Rayagada division, completely decimating the Waltair division as one part of it added to Vijayawada and the other with Rayagada.

The ruling party and the Andhra Pradesh Special Category Status Sadhana Samithi have opposed the move and organised protests in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.

According to railway sources, over 4,000 employees working at present in Secunderabad have to be shifted to Visakhapatnam with the formation of new South Coast Railway zone.

Besides those working in Guntakal division will face problem as it will take two days for them to reach Visakhapatnam.

Railway employees fear that a majority of the revenue share of Waltair division will be diverted to Rayagada division as a major portion of the Waltair division except Visakhapatnam city was merged with Rayagada division.

As far as revenue is concerned Waltair division netted a revenue of Rs 7053.12 crore including 6515.38 crore on freight and 536.73 crore on passenger traffic during 2017-18.

Looking at the revenue figures of the past several years, it could be said that majority of the revenue will be diverted to newly formed Rayagada division as the majority of the area including Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts of Andhra Pradesh were merged in Rayagada division.

TDP MP Rammohan Naidu demanded that all the stations of Srikakulam must be left with Visakhapatnam.