Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made no mention on the creation of a separate railway zone for Visakhapatnam.

Budget Jaitley promises more for Railways in Andhra but no mention of Vizag zoneFile photo: PTI
news Budget Thursday, February 02, 2017 - 09:00

The outlay for railways in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh saw a huge jump in the Union Budget 2017-18 presented on Wednesday.

The outlay for Telangana is Rs 1,729 crore against the average of Rs 601 crore for last two years. Similarly for neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the allocation is Rs 3,406 crore against the last two years' average of Rs 2,195 crore, said South Central Railway (SCR) General Manager Vinod Kumar Yadav.

Telangana is completely served by SCR while Andhra Pradesh is mainly served by the zone.

It was announced in the budget that unmanned level crossings on broad gauge lines will be eliminated by 2020.

Yadav said out of 355 unmanned level crossings on SCR, 170 will be eliminated during the current financial year and the remaining in the coming years.

He said SCR has already entered into joint venture with the Andhra governmentand is in the process of finalising similar agreement with Telangana.

He said 37 stations on SCR were planned to be taken up for re-development. The work on Secunderabad and Vijayawada stations will be taken up in 2017-18.

However, what has irked several citizens, is that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made no mention on the creation of a separate railway zone for Visakhapatnam.

The demand for a separate zone is a long standing one, often clubbed with protests for ‘Special Status’ to Andhra, after bifurcation.

Many along Andhra’s northern coast have reiterated the demand.

According to reports, protests took place in Visakhapatnam after the presentation of the Railway Budget, with CPM activists alleging that the BJP-led NDA Government had betrayed the people of north coastal Andhra. 

 

IANS inputs

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