Visakhapatnam: During the Zero Hour session at the Rajya Sabha, V Vijayasai Reddy raised particular concerns regarding the Waltair division under the East Coast Railway. The Railway Board had directed East Coast Railway to expedite the formation of new Rayagada division, carving out parts of Waltair division. However, Vijaysai Reddy urged the Union Ministry to retain Waltair at Vizag.
Notably, to create a new zone, South Coast Railway, Ministry of Railways merged the existing Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada divisions, making Vizag its headquarters. The Waltair division was once part of the East Coast Railway with its area in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. It was bifurcated to create a new division at Rayagada in Odisha. Hence, Waltair division did not exist anymore as per the Union Ministry’s decision.
However, during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, Vijayasai Reddy appealed to the union government to retain the Waltair division at Visakhapatnam.
The minister said that Waltair division would be split into two parts. One will be incorporated in the new zone by merging with the neighbouring Vijayawada division. The remaining portion will be converted into a new division with headquarters at Rayagada, under the East Coast Railway (ECoR).
Headquartered in Vishakhapatnam, the Waltair is the fifth-highest revenue-generating division of the Indian Railways. It earns more than the North-Western Railways and the North East Frontier Railway Zones. The benefits derived from the Waltair division can easily be multiplied manifold as the money multiplier effect in Visakhapatnam is the third highest in the Eastern Coast.
However, Vijayasai Reddy argued that the government, instead of promoting the flourishing division, is dismantling it and bringing the Vishakhapatnam City under the Vijayawada division of the South Coast Railway Zone. It is a step in the wrong direction, as it will create unnecessary problems that can easily be otherwise avoided.