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Railway connectivity in Northeast state capitals getting full thrust

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By EMN Updated: Jun 29, 2019 11:11 pm
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Dimapur, June 29 (EMN): As per Vision Document 2020, the Central government has planned to connect all the state capitals of north-eastern states by 2020 except Sikkim in which case, new line work has been sanctioned up to Rangpo in first phase, Railways Chief Public Relations Officer P J Sharma said in an update on Saturday.
Great emphasis has been given by government during last five years towards quick execution of infrastructure and safety projects and funding to the infrastructure projects has increased considerably, Sharma said.

“The average annual expenditure in new line, gauge conversion and doubling infrastructure projects during the year 2014-19 was INR 25,894 crore per year as against INR 11,527 crore per year during 2009-14 which is around 125% more than during 2009-14. The average allotment per year for North Eastern States was INR 2,121 crore per year from 2009-14. However, it increased 161% to INR 5,531 crore per year for the region,” stated the update. In some states, he said the progress of new line projects of capital connectivity has been affected due to delay in land acquisition and law and order issues.

All the capital connectivity projects being in hilly terrain of Himalayas involve large number of tunnels and major bridges including very tall bridges in a very challenging geological environment have been affecting the work progress, he said.

Arunachal Pradesh: A BG railway line in Arunachal Pradesh was commissioned in February, 2015 upto Naharlagun (Sub-urban city of Itanagar) and first Broad Gauge (BG) train was flagged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 20, 2015 from Naharlagun in Itanagar to New Delhi.

Long pending and delayed work of Bogibeel Bridge on Brahmaputra river was completed in 2018 leading to further reduction of travel distance from Dibrugarh to Naharlagun (Itanagar) by 705 km (via Guwahati).

First BG trial train to Tripura was received by minister of State of Railways on January 13, 2016 and first BG passenger train (long distance) was introduced to Delhi on July 31, 2016.

“Works of new BG lines have been taken up by the Railway by its own fund to connect the remaining capitals of Meghalaya (Shillong), Manipur (Imphal), Nagaland (Kohima), Mizoram (Aizawl) and Sikkim (Gangtok),” Sharma said.

Manipur: The project of BG line connectivity from Jiribam to Imphal (110.62 km) in Manipur was sanctioned in 2003-04. The latest anticipated cost of the project is INR 13,809 crore and expenditure of INR 6,969.49 crore has been incurred on the project upto March 31, 2019.

The section from Jiribam to Vangaichungpao (12 km) was commissioned in March 2017 and works from Vangaichungpao-Tupul-Imphal (98.62 km) have been taken up throughout the length.

The work of land acquisition has been completed in 102.62 km length of the project and work of acquisition of balance land of 8 km length has been taken up. Target date for completion is three years after complete land is handed over to the Railways.

Mizoram: The project of BG line connectivity from Bhairabi to Sairang (51.38 km) (suburban city of Aizawl, the Capital city of Mizoram) in Mizoram was sanctioned in 2008-09. The latest anticipated cost of the project is INR 4,968 crore and the land could be made available in 2014-15 and work speeded up from 2015-16 & the expenditure of INR 1,958.09 crore has been incurred on the project upto 31.03.2019.

The construction work has been taken up throughout the length of project and 80% tunneling work has been completed and the work on 6 tall bridges has been taken up. For complete commissioning of the project, the work of acquisition of balance 53.90 Hectare of land has been taken up. Target date for completion for complete project is 2 years after complete land is handed over to Railways.

Nagaland: The project of BG line connectivity from Dimapur (Dhansiri)- Zubza (Kohima) (82.50 km) (Sub-urban city of Kohima, the capital city of Nagaland) was sanctioned in 2006-07.

The latest anticipated cost of the project is INR 3,000 crore and the work speeded up from September 2018. The expenditure of INR 626.67 crore has been incurred on the project upto March 31, 2019.

The construction work has been taken up throughout the length of project.
For complete commission of the project, he said the work of acquiring balance land in 6 km length has been taken up (ownership disputes). Target date for completion for complete project is three years after complete land is handed over to Railways.

Meghalaya: Two projects of BG line have been taken up for capital connectivity of Meghalaya.
BG line from Tetelia – Byrnihat (21.50 km) in Meghalaya was sanctioned in 2006-07. The latest anticipated cost of the project is INR 1,532 crore and the work speeded up from 2014-15, 10 km length of the project falling in Assam site from Tetelia to Kamalajari got completed in October, 2018. The expenditure of INR 515.82 crore has been incurred upto March 31, 2019.

Another new BG line from Byrnihat to Shillong (108.40 km) was sanctioned in 2010-11. The latest anticipated cost of the project is INR 6,000 crore and the expenditure of INR 252.68 crore has been incurred on the project upto March 31, 2019.

Stating that the target date for completion of both the new BG lines are not yet fixed, he said once the complete land is physically handed over to Railways the date will be fixed.

Sikkim: The project of BG line connectivity from Sivok to Rangpo (44.39 km) was sanctioned in 2008-09.
The latest anticipated cost of the project is INR 4,085.69 crore and the expenditure of INR 554.46 crore has been incurred on the project upto March 31, 2019.

CPRO said the project is suffering for a long time as the government of West Bengal has not given encumbrance free land (77.78 hectare forest land after cutting of trees) to Railway due to which, timely finalization of tenders is getting affected. However, he said the issue is being consistently chased with Government of West Bengal.

Target date for completion for complete project is three years after complete physical possession of land given to Railways.

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By EMN Updated: Jun 29, 2019 11:11:30 pm