Bhubaneswar, Sep 12
V. Kishore Chandra Deo, Union minister for Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj has issued a clarification on his controversial proposal to shift the zonal headquarters of East Coast Railways from Bhubaneswar.
According to the clarification, the Union minister for Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj stated that in the event of the formation of the new state of Telangana, a package may also be given for development of Andhra region with Visakhapatnam as its capital.
Inter-alia a suggestion was made as Vishakhapatnam is situated at the centre of the east coast between Kolkata and Chennai, the East Coast Railways Headquarters which is established at Bhubaneswar should be ideally located at Vishakhapatnam, the note stated.
“Towards this end it was proposed that the South Eastern Zonal Railways presently situated at Kolkata may be shifted to Bhubaneswar with Khurda attached to it (Kolkata has two Zonal Headquarters viz Eastern Zonal Railways and South Eastern Zonal Railways). By doing so it would address the needs of several Odia speaking areas which fall in this division. Only after shifting the South Eastern Zonal Railways, the East Coast Zonal Headquarters presently situated at Bhubaneswar be shifted to Vishakpatnam with the addition of Vijayawada Division in lieu of Khurda Division”, the clarification added.
The Union Minister has clarified that there has been no question of depriving the state of Odisha whatsoever in this regard.
“It was proposed that the East Coast Zonal Railways is shifted from Bhubaneswar to Visakhapatnam only after shifting of South Eastern Zonal Railways headquarters with Khurda Division to Bhubaneswar”. This was one of the proposals made to the Antony Committee in the context of the package for development of Andhra region.