Eleven MPs across party lines, including two from Rajya Sabha, have demanded shifting of the headquarters of the Western Railway from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. They will give memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in this regard soon.
They had gathered to discuss the issues concerning railway divisions of Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Rajkot with WR General Manager G C Agarwal and other officials of Western Railway in a closed-door meeting here on Wednesday.
The MPs have said that Ahmedabad deserved to have the WR headquarters because Gujarat was a major freight revenue contributor in Western Railway, beside having four of the six divisions in the zone.
Sources said that both Congress and BJP MPs raised this demand in unison, saying that a major part of land on the track for dedicated freight corridor was passing from Gujarat.
Another issue that was discussed was development of Sabarmati and Maninagar stations as terminal stations in place of the present Ahmedabad station, given the heavy train traffic there.
They also suggested to have port connectivity for cotton trade in Surendranagar, Bhavnagar, Amreli and Rajkot as these were hub of cotton trade in the region. They also demanded to expedite gauge conversion project in the state. About toilet faculty at Ahmedabad station, they demanded that the toilet should be built in the middle of platforms instead of on one end of it, which caused hardship to passengers. Also, they said that every platform should be equipped with toilet facility on the station.
Questions were also raised about the pricing of snacks in railway canteens. The MPs said that there should be uniform rates at all canteens.