VIJAYAWADA: The Centre’s announcement of a railway zone for Visakhapatnam just ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the port city falls short of the demand of the people of Andhra Pradesh.
The railway ministry has decided to divide the profitable Waltair division and merge a majority portion into a new Rayagada division that is proposed to be formed shortly. Now, there is a growing chorus that the Waltair whole division is retained in Vizag.
The Waltair division netted Rs 7,053.12 crore, including Rs 6515.38 crore on freight and Rs 536.73 crore on passenger traffic during 2017-18.
As per the revenue figures of the past several years, majority of the revenue will be diverted to the proposed Rayagada division as the majority of the area, including Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts will be merged to it.
Telugu Desam president and AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday alleged that injustice had been meted out to the state in the formation of the railway zone at Visakhapatnam as the lucrative cargo section had been allocated to Odisha.
Speaking to party cadres during a teleconference, Mr Naidu said, “On his visit to AP, our protest should build up heat on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
Mr Modi is visiting the port city on Friday.
Mr Naidu asked TD cadres to carry out demonstrations holding torches, bike rallies wearing black shirts and release black balloons to register their protest against the unfair division.
Mr Naidu also criticised YSRC president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. “Jagan's house warming in Amaravati was held yesterday (Wednesday) and today he is in Hyderabad. He cannot stay in a stable manner in AP. There is no credibility for leaders like Jagan,” Mr Naidu said.
He said the YSRC and BJP’s attempts to create misunderstandings on the change of capital had not influenced the people of AP. “People will teach a lesson to these two parties in the elections and expose their conspiracy,” he said....