Minister of state for science and technology Y Sujana Chowdary on Thursday said that the demand in Andhra Pradesh for a separate rail zone, with its headquarters at Visakhapatnam, was not viable.
The Minister was quoting a railway technical committee report, that had submitted its findings.
Addressing reporters during a press meet at Andhra University, he added that the demand for a separate zone was unlikely to find a mention in the upcoming Budget. Despite this, he asked people not to lose hope.
"We are confident that the promise will be fulfilled. We are trying our best. We are confident that it will be set up here," he was quoted as saying.
The demand for a separate zone is a long standing one, often clubbed with protests for granting 'Special Statusâ€™ to Andhra. Many along Andhraâ€™s northern coast have reiterated the demand.
Protests took place in Visakhapatnam last year 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.
This, despite the fact that Andhra Pradesh was allocated Rs 3,406 crore for railway projects, against the last two years' average of Rs 2,195 crore.
Last month, Srikakulam MP Rammohan Naidu from the TDP said that he was all set to introduce a Private Memberâ€™s Bill in the upcoming winter session of Parliament.
Speaking to local media MP Rammohan Naidu said, "Though very few private bills have been successful, I have decided to bring the seriousness and importance of the railway zone matter to the notice of the Union government as the Centre is showing poor response to the issue."
The separate railway zone for Andhra Pradesh was included in the 13th Schedule of the AP Reorganisation Act. The state government had suggested that the railway zone could be established by clubbing Waltair, Vijayawada, Guntur and Guntakal divisions.
Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has also assured his state several times, that a railway zone would definitely be established, with its headquarters at Visakhapatnam.