Rail network to NE a commitment: Prabhu
IMPHAL, NOVEMBER 12: Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on Saturday laid the foundation stone of Station Building of Tupul, safety tunnel of longest tunnel number 12 and commencement of work at portal number 2 in a function held at 1st Manipur Rifles Parade Ground, Imphal.
Prabhu in his speech said that to provide railway connectivity to North East is a commitment and not a favour. He said that infrastructure creation in the North East is being done with the provision of more budget allocation for NE. The construction works of the Tallest Railway Bridge of the world has already been started and being targeted to be completed by March 2018, he added. The proposed railway bridge (number 164) near the proposed Noney station (Tamenglong district) would be the tallest girder rail bridge in the world with a height of 141 metres.
Saying that North East has immense potential for tourism which can generate large number of jobs a Comprehensive Tourist plan for North East is being worked out.
Speaking at the function, the Governor of Manipur Dr Najma A Heptulla said the Jiribam-Tupul- Imphal railway project which is a national project is of utmost importance which is aimed at providing an alternative means of communication through difficult and inaccessible terrain to the people of Manipur and a reliable means for transport of essential commodities. With the coming of railway connectivity there will be a sea change in the connectivity scenario of Manipur and in the economic spheres, she added and she also appealed not to disturb in the execution of works for developmental projects.
Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh speaking in the function recalled that the foundation of the railway project was laid by former Prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh way back in 2004 and due to many reasons the completion of the project has been extended till now. Taking the advantage of the presence of two Union Ministers in the function, he appealed that the Jiribam-Tupul- Imphal railway project be extended upto Moreh, RIMS be upgraded to the status of AIIMS and the works for the National Sports University must be started.
The function was attended by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar,Dy CM Shri Gakhangam, Transport Minister Dr. Kh. Ratankumar, revenue & Forest Minister I Hemochandra, Union MOS (Railways) Rajen Gohain, Members of Parliament Dr T Meinya and Thangso Baite and MLAs w. Brajabidhu and Kh Devendra among others.
AIZAWL: The railway network would make northeast India a “destination” instead of being a transit point, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said in Mizoram.
“The railway network would make resource rich northeast India a “destination” instead of being a transit spot,” Prabhu said late Friday while laying the foundation stone of the railway station building at Sairang, 20 km north of Mizoram capital Aizawl.
Underlining the role of railways in economic development of the northeastern region, he said: “Railway would not only be the engine of growth but would also be the catalyst of social transformation.”
“Railway network would also bring people of the region more closer and help to overcome various problems in tapping the resources and to supply goods,” he added.
Citing examples of rich natural resources found in Mizoram, the minister called for better utilisation of the natural resources like the bamboo.
Prabhu announced that railways would plan to use more bamboo products made in the region in the Indian railway system to give a boost to the potential industry.
He said that Indian railways would construct all future stations in the country keeping the local ethos as a major part of the design.
Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain, who was also present on the occasion, said that the new broad gauge line from Bairabi to Sairang was part of the Indian railway’s vision to connect all the capitals of northeastern states through broad gauge line by 2020.
The 50.38 km new line, being laid by the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR), originates from Bairabi (under Kolsib district in northern Mizoram) and terminates at Sairang station, which is 20 km from Aizawl.
“Due to the very steep gradient of the mountainous terrain between Sairang and Aizawl, it was not feasible to take the line up to Mizoram capital city,” Gohain said, adding that efforts are being made to complete the project in the stipulated time.
Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said that the extension of broad gauge railway line up to Sairang would be a milestone in the progress of Mizoram.
Speaking at the function, Mizoram Governor Lt Gen (retd.) Nirbhay Sharma emphasised on building railway connectivity with neighbouring Bangladesh and Myanmar in the near future as it would be vital for the development of Mizoram.
The governor also requested the state government and railway authorities to consider construction of a high quality hospital and a school at Sairang for the benefit of the people.
The 50.38 km Bairabi-Sairang new broad gauge line alignment passes through complicated mountainous terrain covered with dense forest throughout its length. (IANS)