• The Centre announced the creation of a separate railway zone in Andhra Pradesh.
• This is a long pending demand of the ruling NDA’s erstwhile ally, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
• The new zone, South Coast Railway (SCoR), would comprise the existing Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada divisions. Additionally, the Waltair division would be bifurcated.
• One part of the Waltair division will be incorporated in the new zone and will be merged with the neighbouring Vijayawada division.
• Waltair division is a part of the East Coast Railway (ECoR) zone.
• A separate railway zone was one of the key promises made to Andhra Pradesh in the bifurcation act.
• The Railways said post bifurcation, the remaining part of the Waltair division would be converted into a new division headquartered at Rayagada, Odisha, under the ECoR.
• “As per item 8 of Schedule 13 (Infrastructure) of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, Indian Railways was required to examine establishing a new railway zone in the successor State of Andhra Pradesh,” Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal said.
Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.
Prelims level: South Coast Railway Zone
Mains level: Importance of Railways Infrastructure