The Narendra Modi government has given its final nod for the creation of a new railway zone in Andhra Pradesh and a new division in Odisha.
According to an order issued by the Railway Board on 17 July " a copy of which Firstpost has accessed " the Ministry of Railways has approved creation of a new railway zone known as South Coast Railway (SCoR), with its headquarters at Vishakhapatnam and a new railway division at Rayagada in Odisha.
The order says that a part of the Waltair railway division will be merged with Vijaywada division to form the new railway zone " SCoR zone. The remaining part is to be organised as a new division at Rayagada.
The Waltair railway division is currently with the East Coast Railway (ECoR) zone and its headquarters is in Bhubaneswar. It covers northern districts of Andhra Pradesh, parts of Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
The new zone proposed will comprise the existing Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada divisions that currently fall under the South Central Railway (SCR). With this restructuring, the SCR will then consist of Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Nanded divisions, sources in the railways said.
In February, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had made an announcement regarding this new railway zone in Andhra Pradesh.
A new railway zone in Andhra Pradesh had been a long-standing demand of the then ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the state. A BJP delegation had then met Goyal and submitted a memorandum, stating the north Andhra region was 'backward and needs impetus for development'.
With the new SCoR zone and a new division, the country shall now have 18 railway zones and 74 railway divisions. The operations of Indian Railways are currently divided into 17 zones, which are further sub-divided into railway divisions. Each division has a divisional headquarters. There are 73 railways divisions at present.