Prabhu fulfils long cherished demand; flags off first passenger train between Silchar and Guwahati

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New Delhi, November 22: Fulfilling the long cherished demand of the people of Barak Valley in South Assam to have a seamless connectivity with rest of the nation, Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, flagged off the First BG Fast Passenger Train from Silchar to Guwahati via Lumding, Haflong through Remote Control by organizing a Video-Conferencing between Rail Bhawan, New Delhi and Silchar Railway Station. Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that it is an historic moment that people of South Assam are getting an important railway connectivity with rest of the Nation."Today we are introducing a new train between Guwahati and Silchar after conversion of Lumding-Silchar Metre Gauge line into Broad Gauge. Goods trains are already running in this section since March, 2015. More passenger trains will be introduced in near future. This will fulfill the long cherished demand of the people of Barak Valley to have a seamless connectivity", Prabhu said.

The Union Minister of State for Youth Affaires and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha was specially present on the occasion at Silchar end.  At New Delhi end, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha from Karimganj, Assam Radheshyam Biswas, Member Engineering Railway Board V. K. Gupta, Member Traffic Railway Board Kundan Sinha were among those present on the occasion. Connection of Silchar by BG railway line would not only benefit the people of Barak Valley, but would lead to opening of new vistas in connection to the hitherto isolated states of Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur.


Prabhu said that Indian Railway is committed to improve its infrastructure in North-Easter region and pointed out that all the eight sisters of this region are dear to the heart of the people in the country. Rail connectivity to North Eastern States has been made a mission item by the new government, as we provided an all time high budget allotment of Rs.5200 crores to the projects in this region in 2014-15 which is over 50% more than 2013-14.  This tempo has been maintained in 2015-16 also by providing Rs. 5300 crores.


Prabhu said that we are working expeditiously to connect all Capitals of North Eastern States with railway connectivity.  Earlier this year Itanagar, the State Capital of Arunachal Pradesh was provided connectivity with the National Capital through a direct train. Also the entire North Bank of Brahmaputra has been brought on Broad Gauge with the commissioning of entire Rangiya-Rangapara-North Lakhimpur – Murkongselek (510 km) Gauge Conversion Project. Mega Block for conversion of Badarpur-Kumarghat-Agartala section has been taken with effect from 01.10.2015.

About the Lumding-Silchar GC project:
The 210km Lumding-Silchar GC project was sanctioned in the year 1996-97 at an initial cost of Rs.648 crores. Declared as a National Project in 2004, the project connects the Barak Valley of Assam by broad gauge track fulfilling a longstanding demand of the people of this area. Commencement of passenger train service from Silchar to Lumding marks the completion of Phase-I of this project.

The track passes through the verdant North Cachar hills almost parallel to the old Metre Gauge alignment crisscrossing the MG alignment at many locations in the first 100 kms between Lumding and Migrendisa. Thereafter, the proposed BG alignment detours for 30 km before joining the MG alignment again near Ditockchera. The mega block for the phase-I i.e., Lumding-Silchar section (210 km) was taken from 01.10.2014 for 6 months.

The formation works and track linking works were completed and engine rolling upto New Haflong (100 Km) was done on 12.01.2015 and subsequently upto Silchar on 13.03.2015. The first goods train was flagged off by Hon’ble Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on 27.3.2015. Thereafter, more than 155 goods train have plied in the section.

Phase-2 of the total project consists of gauge conversion of Badarpur-Kumarghat (118 km) and finger lines Arunachal-Jiribam (50 Km), Baraigram-Dullabcherra (29 km) & Karimganj-Mahishasan including Karimganj bye pass line (13.50 km). This phase will be completed by 31.03.2016 for which mega block has already been taken from 01.10.2015 for six months. The current estimated cost of the entire project is around Rs.6000 cores.

Connection of Silchar by BG railway line would not only benefit the people of Barak Valley, but would lead to opening of new vistas in connection to the hitherto isolated states of Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur.


Prabhu pointed out that the work is progressing as per target and Agartala, the Capital of Tripura is all set to be on Broad Gauge by March, 2016.   Along with this, the Gauge Conversion of Kathakal-Bhairabi (Mizoram) and Arunachal (Station) – Jiribam (Manipur) sections will also be completed and these two States i.e Manipur and Mizoram will also come on Broad Gauge map of the country.  Shri Suresh Prabhu said that Railways have been commissioning about 133 km Broad Gauge track every year in the North Eastern region in last 4-5 years. In 2014-15, a record was made when about 450 km of lines were commissioned. This year again, we are all set to achieve a new record of commissioning of about 550 kilometres of Broad Gauge lines in this region.

 Referring to the excellent relations between India and Bangladesh Shri Suresh Prabhu said that Indian Railways will also work for better connectivity with Bangladesh.  Prabhu said that the development of infrastructure will also help youth in a big way as they will get better opportunities for skill development etc. The better railway connectivity will also provide better marketing facilities.

Railways have been playing a major role in serving the infrastructural needs of the Northeast and will continue to contribute to the socio-economical development of this region.  He congratulated all Railway personnel for completing this project successfully despite many problems.

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