Rio flags off ‘Donyi Polo Express’ from Shokhuvi Station
State chief minister, Neiphiu Rio, who flagged off the Donyi Polo Express from Shokhuvi Station on Friday, described the day as “historic” and said that Nagaland was getting the second railway station on Dhansari-Shokhuvi railway line after a gap of more than 100 years since Dimapur station was opened in 1903.
Speaking at the flagging off ceremony at Shokhuvi Railway Station, the chief minister said it was a “Red Letter Day” for the state of Nagaland and congratulated the officers, engineers and staff of Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) for making the dream of Nagaland come true. Rio hoped that state would be benefited immensely not just economically but socially also.
He said that the passenger service and goods station provided by the Shokhuvi station would cater to the needs of the state.
Admitting the challenges faced by NFR in procuring land, the chief minister said that one cannot blame NFR for the delay, adding that the railways have faced many hindrances in acquiring land required for the construction of railway line.
In this regard, Rio urged upon the people to provide support and also requested village councils, GBs, civil society organisations and leaders to come forward. Rio said he was informed that survey would be conducted from Zubza to New Kohima and onward to Imphal in order to fulfil the commitment of the Centre to connect all capitals with railway line.
He also said that connecting all North East states with railways would only fulfil the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Act East’ policy.
“Railway is the second cheapest mode of transport and therefore this will change the face of our state and our economy,” Rio stated. He further expressed hope that the Molvom Station would be completed by March or April 2023. Rio, however, reminded NFR to not forget the Dimapur Railway station while pursuing new railway lines.
Also, delivering his speech on the occasion, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) general manager, Anshul Gupta, acknowledged the chief minister Neiphiu Rio for his guidance and support in enabling the railways to come up with the second railway station in Nagaland after a gap more than 100 years.
He maintained that it was a proud moment for Indian railways and NFR. Gupta said that Nagaland was most important for NFR, adding that it offered many opportunities not only for its citizens, but also for whole country.
He also informed that the railways would not stop its connectivity at Zubza, adding that a proposal was sent to undertake survey from Zubza, to new Kohima, to Imphal, then to Aizawl, so that all states were connected in a loop.
Informing that NFR wants to commission Molvom railway station by March 2023, the GM sought assistance and support from Nagas so as to carry out the works.
He also informed that many connecting trains would come up in the station, including Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains, whilst adding that long distance trains would also be introduced in the near future.
Minister PHED, Jacob Zhimomi, who also spoke at the programme, expressed hope that the newly launched and extended Donyi Polo Express would not only boost the trade and commerce and economic activities of the state, but also improve the social relationship between Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
The 15817/15818 Donyi Polo Express, which used to run between Guwahati and Naharlagun (Arunachal Pradesh), is now extended to Shokhuvi, and will henceforth run as a daily train service between Shokhuvi and Naharlagun. The train will cover a distance of 440 kms in 13 hrs and 40 mins. It will have stoppages at Dhansiri, Diphu, Lumding, Lanka, Hojai, Chaparmukh stations in its extended service between Shukhovi and Guwahati.