More than 40 railway projects are currently underway in the northeast region which will add 5,158 km-long tracks on completion, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said today.
Flagging off the second service of Humsafar Express at Agartala railway station here jointly with Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government is very keen to develop the northeastern states and working for it.
A total 43 railway projects are currently on in the region for which Rs 90,000 crore had been allotted. On their completion 5,158 km railway line would be added in the northeast, he said.
The train, which was flagged on January 5 plies between Agartala and Bangalore Cantonment once a week. With the introduction of the second service the train will be available twice a week now. Gohain said, “The central government has also sanctioned a project for electrification of all lines.”
On development of railway services in the region, he said Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura and Manipur are connected with the railways and work is now underway in Mizoram and Nagaland.
He also said railways development work was in progress at Meghalaya since the Conrad Sagma government came to office.
The minister of state said work on the Rs 3,451 crore 112-km broad-gauge line from Agartala to Sabroom in South Tripura district is underway and when it is commissioned Chittagong Port in Bangladesh would be only 90 km away from the nearest station.
Gohain said the Agartala-Akhaura rail link would connect India and Bangladesh via Gangasagar railway station near the international border in West Tripura district.
“It is one of the most important projects going on and is being implemented at a cost of Rs 968 crore,” he said, adding it would connect Chittagong Port in Bangladesh.
Speaking at the function, Deb requested the minister to double the frequency of the Rajdhani Express and the Tripurasundari Express.
He said Tripura would soon become the gateway to the Northeast. A bridge is under construction over Feni river which would connect Bangladesh at Sabroom in South Tripura district.
“We will have direct connectivity with Chittagong port (in Bangladesh) after the completion of the bridge. Goods can be brought at much cheaper rates compared to the 2,500 km long route from Haldia port (in West Bengal),” he said.
Deb said his government would work to develop Tripurausing its natural resources like gas and produces like tea, jackfruit and pineapple.