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Kerala MPs meet PM, demands railway zone

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) A delegation of Members of Parliament from Kerala today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and raised several long pending demands, including a separate railway zone and modernisation of Thiruvananthapuram international airport.

The MPs, a majority of them belonging to the Left parties, made a strong case for creating a separate railway zone for Kerala, though it has only two railway divisions in Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad as against the requirement of three for the zonal status.

Pointing out that the pace of work on modernisation of the Thiruvananthapuram airport, which was ugraded to the international status in 1989 by the then Prime Minister V P Singh, was slow, the MPs wanted Dr Singh's personal intervention to speed up the ongoing expansion works.

They made a plea to Dr Singh to stop the move, if any, to shift the Central aquarium from Shanghumugham in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Congress-led UDF government in the state has been taking up with the government the demand for a separate railway zone for quite some time.

The MPs also raised the issue on the floor of the house several times but the Railway minister giving a negative reply.

The MPs today contended that a separate Kerala railway zone could be created by clubbing the railway divisional officies at Palakkad, Thiruvananthapuram and Salem (in neighbouring Tamil Nadu).

UNI SH VP RAI1843

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