Centre keen to boost rail connectivity in Arunachal: Gohain
Guwahati, Feb 4 (IANS) In its effort to provide better connectivity to bordering areas of the northeastern region, the central government has proposed railway lines to Tawang, Bamey and Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh.
Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said this while addressing mediapersons on Saturday and added the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is going to undertake three surveys for laying railway tracks connecting Bhalukpong to Tawang, Silapathar-North Lakhimpur-Bamey and between Murkongselek-Rupai-Pasighat.
“While the survey for Murkongselek-Rupai-Pasighat line has already been started, the NFR is expecting to start the survey in the two other proposed lines,” Gohain said adding the three proposed railway lines are expected to cost between Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 70,000 crore.
“The proposed railway line between Bhalukpong to Tawang will also be one of the highest elevation in the country — 9,000 feet,” he said adding the three proposed lines are going to be major challenges for the NF railway in the days to come.
The Minister, while hailing the Union Budget 2017-18, said it has brought an unprecedented number of projects for the state of Assam and the northeast which include nine projects to provide connectivity to different locations in Assam at an estimated cost of Rs 13,364 crore.
“The major projects sanctioned for Assam include a broad gauge line from Sivsagar to Jorhat, Salona to Khumtai, Tezpur to Silghat, another rail-cum-road bridge on Brahmaputra river in Guwahati and four line elevated corridor between Kamakhya to Guwahati,” he said.
“The total plan outlay for NFR has been increased to Rs 9,422 crore from Rs 7,620 crore in 2016-17 fiscal marking an increase of 24 per cent,” he said.
Gohain also said the allocation for projects in Assam and other northeastern states was increased to Rs 5,586 crore compared to Rs 5,340 crore allotted in 2016-17.
The minister, however, expressed concern over the problem of insecurity in Manipur and said the security situation has affected the work of NFR in the state considerably.
“The insecurity in Manipur is a major setback for the railways. The work between Jiribam to Imphal has been affected due to the blockade in the past. Blockade affects work as everything including construction material has to be carried from this side,” he said.