Maligaon, 20.02.2016: In a historic development concerning rail connectivity of the Northeast,Hon’ble Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu here today flagged off 05601 / 05602 Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express, a weekly train connecting Silchar in Barak valley of Assam with New Delhi and two commercial freight trains to Agartala (Jirania) in Tripura and Jiribam in Manipur thereby bringing these two northeastern states into the broad gauge railway map of India at a glittering function organized at Silchar Station today, Shri Phabhu Flagged off the trains in the presence of Kumari Sushmita Deb, MP, Lok Sabha, Silchar, Smt. Bijoya Chakrabarty, MP, Lok Sabha, Guwahati, Shri Ramen Deka, MP, Lok Sabha, Mangaldai and Shri Radheshyam Biswas, MP, Lok Sabha, Karimganj.
Kumari Sushmita, LoK Sabha MP from Silchar thanked the Railway Minister for ensuring rapid progress of work in the area resulting in fulfilling long unfulfilled dreams of the people of Barak Valley. She also requested the minister to explore the possibility of linking the region to West Bengal via Bangladesh which will greatly reduce travel time.
In his address, the Rail Minister stated that connectivity to all capitals of North Eastern States by 2020 is one of the topmost priorities of the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. While he directed the railway officials to put in their best efforts, the Central Government, he said will ensure that adequate fund is available for the North Eastern projects. While Manipur got its Ist train today, new line would be completed upto Tupul and Imphal within 2017-19. Mizoram would also gets its Ist train within this year itself. He said that Railway will ensure that passenger trains to Agartala is started within this Financial Year itself after which Silchar-Agartala train service would start. Night train Intercity between Silchar and Guwahti would also commence soon. Silchar would also get a train to Mumbai in the near future he announced. He lauded the efforts of Northeast Frontier Railway for having already commissioned 417 KM within 11 months of this current Financial Year and having spent to the tune of Rs5500 Crore for the projects which is a remarkable achievement.
Earlier in his address General Manager Shri H.K. Jaggi welcomed all the dignitaries to the venue and assured that railway will leave no stone unturned to ensure that vision of connectivity to all state capitals of Northeast by 2020 is fulfilled. He appreciated the efforts of railway personnel where hard work made the new trains to Manipur and Agartala a reality.
Divisional Railway Manager Shri Anit Dulat offered the vote of thanks after the flagging off ceremony.
BG Line to Manipur:
The gauge conversion of the erstwhile metre gauge line from Arunachal to Jiribam in Manipur (50.39 km) was sanctioned as a material modification to Lumding-Silchar gauge conversion project in the year 2000-01. The original metre gauge line was constructed in the year 1989-90. The line between Arunachal and Jiribam is of considerable importance as it is the feeder route of food grains & other essential commodities to the state of Manipur from Jiribam station.The revised estimated cost of gauge conversion of this line is Rs. 252crores. The line has been constructed with a speed potential of 100 Kmph and Ruling Gradient of 1 in 100. There are two crossing stations and four halt stations on the section. CRS inspection of the section is proposed by end of February 2016.
BG line to Tripura:
Gauge Conversion of Badarpur – Kumargaht (118 Km) was sanctioned in 2003-04 (Badarpur -Baraigram) & 2007-08 (Baraigram-Kumarghat) as material modification to Lumding - Silchar Gauge Conversion Project at an estimated cost of Rs. 565 crore. The work has been completed and the speed potential of the section is 100 kmph with Ruling gradient of 1 in 150 from Badarpur to Dharmanagar and 1 in 100 from Dharmanagar to Kumarghat. A trial freight train was taken on the section and up to Agartala on 13th January this year. CRS inspection of the section is proposed by end of March, 2016.
A new Broad Gauge line fromKumarghattoAgartala (109 km) was sanctioned in 1996-97 along with the gauge conversion of Lumding – Badarpur – Silchar section. Subsequently, the line from Kumarghat to Agartala was constructed on broad gauge alignment as a metre gauge line in 2008 as the connecting lines were still metre gauge. After the completion of gauge conversion of the Lumding – Badrapur – Silchar section, this line was taken up for gauge conversion. The work has been completed with speed potential of 100 kmph.
With the flagging off of the first commercial freight train to Jirania (Agartala, Tripura), the capital of one more northeaster state, i.e. Tripura has been brought under the broad gauge railway map of India.
Train to New Delhi:
It has been a long-standing demand of people of land-locked Barak Valley to have a direct train to New Delhi. This demand got fulfilled today with the flagging off of the weekly PoorvattarSamparkKranti Express from Silchar. The train will leave Silchar every Monday at 18-30 hrs to arrive at New Delhi at 13-00 hrs on Wednesday. During return journey, it will leave New Delhi at 23-45 hrs on every Thursday to arrive at Silchar on Saturday at 19-55 hrs.