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Rs 10,000 cr for rail links in NE
Correspondent: Shillong, 09 Jul 2008
Published on 10 Jul. 2008 12:44 AM IST
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Union Minister of State for Railways Rangasamy Velu Wednesday said the UPA government has earmarked Rs. 10, 000 crores for connecting North Eastern States, including Sikkim with railways even as he announced that there are 19 ongoing railway projects in the region.
Talking to reporters here after reviewing the railways projects with North East Frontier Railways, Velu said the UPA government was committed to providing railway connectivity to all the north eastern States. The Union Minister said railway connectivity would ensure that backward regions develop at a faster economic rate.
On the railways projects in Meghalaya, Velu said that the 20- kilometer Dudhnoi-Mendipathar (Meghalaya) at an estimated cost of Rs. 86 crore had been sanctioned. He said the project would be completed within four years and work would commence from November 8 next.
The second project to be approved is the Rs. 200 crore Azara (Assam) to Byrnihat (Meghalaya) railway line. 
He said that there had been some problem with land acquisition on the Assam side but assured that the project would take off soon.  “I have asked the Assam government to resolve the land acquisition issue and we will complete the project by 2013,” Velu said.
On the proposed Byrnihat-Shillong railway line, Velu said the project was in a nascent stage and survey work was under progress. He however said that this project was a bit difficult as it involved rough terrain and high altitude.
He also informed that the proposal for starting a rail link from Pancharatna to Silchar that goes through Southern part of Meghalaya hugging Bangladesh was under active consideration.
The approval for starting this 437- kilometer stretch of railway line was presently lying with the Defence ministry, Velu said.

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