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Entire NE to be on railway map soon
SHILLONG, JUN 24:
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Published on 24 Jun. 2009 11:17 PM IST
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Indian Railways plans to bring the whole of North Eastern (NE) region on the country’s railway map within the next few years under Prime Minister’s ‘Vision 2020’ programme. “Under the current mandate ‘Vision 2020’ all NE states will be brought under railway connectivity,’’ Shiv Kumar, General Manager (Construction), Northeast Frontier (NF) Railways, told UNI here on Tuesday. Work has already progressed under the scheme as Tripura’s capital Agartala has been connected to Kumarghatin August 2008. ‘’Next we plan to bring Meghalaya into the railway map by connecting Azara in Assam to Byrnihat and from Dudhnoi (Assam) to Mendipatthar,’’ Kumar said. In Nagaland tracks exist upto Dimapur and would be further extended upto capital Kohima. In Tripura, capital Agartala will be connected to the southernmost tip of Sabroom. Incidentally, Sabroom is adjacent to the Bangladesh port city of Chittagong and railway connectivity will boost trade in the region. ‘’In Manipurtrackswill be extendedfrom Jiribam to capital Imphal while in Mizoram tracks will be laid from Bhairabi to Sairang which is just short of capital Aizawl,’’ Kumar added. In the eastern border state of Arunachal Pradesh, capital Itanagar will be connected to Harmuti in Assam while the Himalayan state of Sikkim too will not lag behind. Tracks will be laid fromSevoke in neighbouring West Bengal to Rangpo in South Sikkim. ‘’The whole project will take four to five years,’’ Kumar informed. ‘’Plans are afoot for large-scale gauge conversion to facilitate trains like the Rajdhani to run insome stretches of the NE region. Gauge conversion will be undertaken inRangiya, Murkongselek, Lumding, Silchar, Badarpur, Kumarghat and Jiribam,’’ he confirmed. Besides, the NF Railways plans to build another rail cum road bridge over the mighty Brahmaputra in Assam apart from the existing two.

 
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