India’s longest railway tunnel inaugurated - Eastern Mirror
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India’s longest railway tunnel inaugurated

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 31, 2016 12:58 am

YUREMBAM, July 30 : Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on Saturday assured that the ongoing Manipur railway project (111km Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal) will be extended till Moreh, a commercial town bordering Myanmar which is said to be India ’s gateway to South Asian countries.

“I can assure we’ll take up this project by consulting the Finance ministry so that we can get support,” says Railways Minister while responding to Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi’s appeal to include 110 km route Imphal-Moreh. The extension project will cost around Rs 9000 crore.
The Railway minister, who was here along with the minister of state for Railways Rajen Gohain to launch the commencement of work on the country’s longest railway tunnel along 111km Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal and laying foundation stone of Imphal rail station building at Yurembam village near here.

The 11.5 km longest railway tunnel is one of the 46 tunnels covering a total distance of 55 km in between the Tupul-Imphal section in the on-going 111 km Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal railway project while Imphal rail station will be developed with Kangla fort and Gobindajee temple designs at Yurembam village. Presently, the 11.25km long Pir Panjal Railway tunnel along Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project in J&K is India’s longest railway tunnel.

Observing that Prime Minister Narendra Modi considers North East as area of development strategy, he said railway expenditure in North East is two times higher in last two years than the last five years adding that the entire NE region is connected with board gauge except 43 km stretch which will also be completed within next few months time.

In his 15 minute speech, he also assured that a world class railway terminus will be developed in Guwahati soon.

Highlighting Manipur’s potential in connectivity with the South Asian countries, Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi in his 20 minute speech, urged develop Imphal-Moreh rail track “as a new gift to Manipur and Nation” in a move to meet Prime Minister Narendra’s Modi’s Act East policy dream.

The Manipur project launched by the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, estimated to cost about Rs 9000 crore, is targeted to be completed by 2019 while the 84 km Jiribam-Tupul section is projected for completion within next financial year while 13km Jiribam-Dholakhal section will be commissioned in September this year.

However Ibobi said commissioning of Manipur rail project will be a distant dream unless there is adequate security cover. He added currently four battalions of paramilitary forces were deployed along the Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal rail route for security cover of the construction works.

Later, Minister Prabhu, who is expected to visit Agartala and Dimapur on Sunday and Monday to launch two new rail lines, assured a railway PRO for Manipur besides giving priorities to Manipuri youths during railways recruitment.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 31, 2016 12:58:59 am