Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today said that his ministry is committed to connect all states of the Notrh East with Broad Gauge lines and lay BG lines in 8.5 lakh km across the country within five years. “Connectivity in the North East is the priority of the Centre and efforts are on for electrification of all BG lines in the region in the next five years,” the minister said after flagging off a train and laying foundation of a project through video conferencing from the NFR headquarters at Maligaon in Guwahati. Since NDA has come to power in 2014 railway projects worth Rs 90,000 crore have been undertaken for all the states of the region, he said. “During 2016-17 the railway ministry introduced 26 new trains for the North East,” he said.
Earlier, he flagged off the Naharlagun-Guwahati Shatabdi Express and laid the foundation of the Murkongselek-Pasighat broad gauge line in Arunachal. He also announced commencement of surveys for seven new lines in the state. The seven new lines in the state for which reconnaissance engineering cum traffic survey commenced are Lekhapani-Kharsang (25 km), Itakhola-Seijosa (18 km), Doomdooma-Namsai-Wakro (96 km), Dangri-Roing (60 km), Deomali-Naharkatia (20 km), Lekhapani-Miao-Deban (75 km) and Tinsukia-Pasighat via Simaluguri and Kanubari (300 km).
Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain assured to complete the survey works of seven BG lines by December next year. The minister also assured to complete the work on Murkongselek-Pasighat BG line by 2018. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said the new lines would give a fillip to the industrial corridor in the state.
Stating that real inroads of railways to the state began in 2015 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Naharlagun-New Delhi Express train and alleged that the state was earlier neglected. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu said that through railway connectivity, the agri-horti sectors in the state would receive a major boost.