The demand for a separate railway zone, with Visakhapatnam as its headquarters, is a long standing one.

Hyderabad HC admits PIL seeking separate rail zone for Vizag notice to Centre and AndhraImage credit: High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad
news News Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 08:37

The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday questioned the Andhra Pradesh government and the Centre's Railway Ministry, after a petition that raised the 'inaction' of the two parties, in setting up a railway zone in the state, with its headquarters at Visakhapatnam.

This came after a public interest plea, filed by former Andhra minister K Ramakrishna, who questioned the Centre going back on a promise that was made during bifurcation of the state.

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

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

According to reports, the HC accepted the petition, which also asked that the move by the Centre and the state to not declare a railway zone be declared 'illegal.'

During the Union Budget 2017-18, what irked several citizens in the state, was that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made no mention on the creation of a separate railway zone for Visakhapatnam. 

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. 

Last month, Union Minister for Railways, Suresh Prabhu, said that the demand was under consideration, and he would personally take up the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

This came after ministers including Venkaiah Naidu and several TDP MPs met the Union Minister in New Delhi to speed up pending works in Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has also assured his state several times in the recent past, that the railway zone would definitely be established.

 

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