V Kishore Deo issues clarification on proposal to shift ECoR HQs
Bhubaneswar: As the BJD is upping the ante on the controversial proposal to shift the zonal headquarters of East Coast Railways, union minister for tribal affairs and Panchayati Raj, V. Kishore Chandra Deo, has issued a clarification on the contentious issue which has rocked Odisha politics.
As per the “clarification”, in connection with the correspondence being made to the High Power Antony Committee on Andhra Pradesh, the union minister for tribal affairs had submitted before the Committee a note vis-à-vis package to be announced for development of Andhra region. This note was sent by the Minister along with forwarding letters to A.K. Antony, chairman of the Committee and all other Members of the High Power Committee.
In the note, it was 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. In the note, 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 needs to be ideally located at Vishakhapatnam.
“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.