Railway Ministry has announced a new railway zone for Andhra Pradesh. The new railway zone – Southern Coast Railway – will be headquartered in Visakhapatnam and it will be the 18th zone in the country.
As per item 8 of Schedule 13 (Infrastructure) of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, the Indian Railways was required to examine establishing a new railway zone in the successor state of Andhra Pradesh. The matter has been examined in detail in consultation with the stakeholders and it has been decided to go ahead with the creation of a new zone with its headquarter in Visakhapatnam.
A new railway zone in Andhra Pradesh has been a long-standing demand of the ruling TDP in the state. In a memorandum submitted to Mr Goyal, the BJP delegation had said that the north Andhra region, comprising Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts, was very backward and needs impetus for development. The new zone will comprise the existing Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada divisions that currently fall under the South Central Railway.