//Kerala MPs seek separate railway zone for state

Kerala MPs seek separate railway zone for state

New Delhi: Ahead of the Railway Budget, Parliamentarians from Kerala today called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded setting up of a separate railway zone for the state.

They also sought his intervention for speeding up the proposed expansion and modernisation of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport and urged him to take steps to prevent shifting of a central aquarium from the state capital.

The state Government had been raising the demand for a separate railway zone for the state for quite some time, but the Centre’s contention was that a zone can be formed only when there are three rail divisions.

The state presently has only two divisions — Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad, which has been bifurcated. "We have raised our concerns regarding railway zone, Thiruvananthapuram airport and plans to shift the aquarium. He gave us a patient hearing and promised to look into the issues," CPI(M) MP P Karunakaran said.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had also demanded a separate railway zone for the state, clubbing Palakkad, Salem and Thiruvananthapuram divisions.

"The earlier contention was that a zone can be allowed only when there are three divisions. Now there are three- Salem, Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram — and we have a legitimate right for a railway zone," the MPs said

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