Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today announced a new railway zone for Andhra Pradesh, days after a delegation of BJP MPs from the state met the minister demanding the same. The new railway zone — Southern Coast Railway — will be headquartered in Visakhapatnam, Goyal said, adding that it will be the 18th zone in the country.
“As per 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 minister said. The new zone will comprise the existing Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada divisions that currently fall under the South-Central Railway. The South-Central Railway will then consist of the Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Nanded divisions, Goyal said.
Waltair division, one of the three divisions of the East Coast Railway Zone, will be split into two, he said. While one part will be incorporated in the new zone and merged with the neighbouring Vijaywada division, the remaining portion will be converted into a new division headquartered at Rayagada under the East Coast Railway (ECoR).