29 December 2011

‘Praja vedika' formed to fight for separate railway zone

The Railway Zone Sadhana Committee has decided to involve various sections of the people as part of the efforts to achieve the demand for establishment of a separate railway zone with Visakhapatnam as headquarters.A preparatory meeting was held at the Communist Party of India (CPI) office here on Wednesday. CPI district secretary J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy, Bharatiya Janata Party leader M. Nagendra, Telugu Desam leader Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar, Lok Satta leader N. Venu Gopal, and CPI leaders Ch. Raghavendra and M. Pydi Raju were among those who attended.Later briefing the media, the leaders decried the neglect of Waltair Division by the East Coast Railway.Extension of important terminating trains to Bhubaneswar while not extending trains terminating at Bhubaneswar and Puri to Visakhapatnam, reducing the quota of berths and non-regularisation of important special trains like Shirdi Express that have been enjoying immense patronage indicate the ‘step-motherly' attitude of ECoR, they said.Mr. Satyanarayana Murthy, who is also the convenor of the committee, said the movement was being renamed as ‘Uttarandhra Praja Vedika' to bring various associations on to a common platform for achievement of the just demand of the people of the region.Leaders and activists of all political parties were supporting the cause. Though the ruling party members were not directly involved in the agitation, they were also extending support.He said a high-level meeting would be held at the Platinum Jubilee Guest House of Andhra University on January 3 in which Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari would participate. He felt that even if zone was not feasible immediately, Waltair Division should be merged with the South Central Railway (SCR) after which steps could be taken towards carving out a separate zone.He spoke of his plans to hand over the reins of the committee to senior Telugu Desam leader K. Yerran Naidu, if the latter agreed to it. Members of the Stevedores Association, Hoteliers Association, and all other associations would be involved in the crusade for achievement of the railway zone.