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2 new rail zones from Oct 1: Nitish

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, July18

THE Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, on Thursday categorically said in the Lok Sabha that the two newly created railway zones viz., East-Central Railway at Hajipur (Bihar) and the North-Western Railway at Jaipur (Rajasthan), already notified, would become operational from October 1, while the other five zones would become operational from April 1, 2003.

Responding to a volley of supplementaries on the main question raised by the BJP member, Mr Mansinh Patel, during question hour, the Railway Minister said that the other five zones would be the East Coast Railway at Bhubaneswar, the South-Western Railway at Hubli, the West-Central Railway at Jabalpur, the North-Central Railway at Allahabad and the South-East Central Railway at Bilaspur.

He said about Rs 50 crore has been incurred on new zones up to March 31.

Even as members of the RJD and the CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress were trading charges about the advisability or otherwise of the creation of East-Central Railway at Hajipur in Bihar, the Railway Minister said that the zones were created as recommended by the Railway Reforms Committee in 1984, which, originally favoured farming out four new zones.

Based on a further review, the Government has decided to set up new zones. He conceded that the various railway federations have been opposing the formation of new zones.

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