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Rail network to link NE capitals
Correspondent SHILLONG, JAN 18:
Published on 19 Jan. 2011 12:15 AM IST
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All capitals in the Northeastern states will be linked with rail network in the next 5-7 years, an official statement said today.
According to the statement, the Ministry of railways has developed an elaborate plan to develop the railway infrastructure in the region.
In addition, work for gauge conversion of existing lines is also being taken up.
At present, there is a network of only 2447 kms in the entire North East, which accounts for 4 per cent of the national network. Of the total railway network, about 97 per cent is in Assam and 2 per cent in Tripura.
“Therefore, a very accelerated programme of rail connectivity is required to provide the basic infrastructure capacity for the NE to realize its economic potential,” the statement said.
At present, there is a plan to connect Itanagar and Agartala during the 11th Plan whereas Aizawl, Imphal and Kohima would be connected during the 12th Plan.
Shillong and Gangtok are expected to be connected in the 13th Plan. There is a demand to increase the rail network in the NE to 6% of the National Network in the next 10 years.
India is going to construct the Agartala-Akhaura (Bangladesh) line to connect Tripura to the Bangladesh Railway network. These projects are likely to transform the face of the transport infrastructure in the region.
It has been decided that the projects of the Railways designated as National Project will be supported by the Govt. of India in the ratio of 75-25 where 25 per cent will be given from the GBS of Railways and 75 per cent from the centre. It has also been decided to create a Fund for development of rail infrastructure in the North East Region.

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