BHUBANESWAR: Strongly opposing the move by the Centre to withdraw Waltair Division from the jurisdiction of the East Coast Railway (ECoR), Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has demanded creation of three new railway divisions under it.
In a letter to Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda, the Chief Minister said since efforts are on to withdraw the Waltair (Visakhapatnam) Division from the jurisdiction of ECoR as part of the restructuring of a new sub-central (Visakhapatnam) zone under Telangana, three new railway divisions should be created in the State under ECoR. The three new divisions should be set up at Jajpur-Keonjhar, Rayagada and Rourkela or Jharsuguda, he said.
The Chief Minister said out of the total 1,106 km of rail route under Visakhapatnam Division, 410 km of rail route (37 per cent) passes through Koraput and Rayagada while 521 km (47 per cent) comes under Seemandhra.
But the Visakhapatnam Division collects 80 pc freight from Visakhapatnam-Khurda, Visakhapatnam-Titlagarh-Raipur, Titlagarh-Sambalpur and Kothavalasa-Koraput-Kirandul sections, he said.
While 669 km of rail route out of the total 2,431 km of rail route in Odisha lies along mining areas like Joda-Barsuan and Ib Valley, the shifting of these rail routes to the Visakhapatnam Division from ECoR jurisdiction would be unjust, he said.
The ECoR should be restructured before withdrawal of Visakhapatnam Division from its jurisdiction by adding more railway divisions to it, he said and added that failing which State Government will not tolerate such a move.