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Minister of State of Railways, Shri Rajen Gohain laid the Foundation Stones for Electrification of the Guwahati – Lumding section of N. F. Railway and Re-development Work of Guwahati Railway Station and also inaugurated a lift for passengers at Guwahati Railway station at a largely-attended public function in Guwahati today. The General Manager of N. F. Railway, Shri Sanjive Roy, Divisional Railway Manager of Lumding Division Shri Ashish Sharma, other senior railway officials and hundreds of enthusiastic people were present at the function.

Laying the foundation stone of the 180km long Guwahati – Lumding section of N. F. Railway Shri Gohain said that he had always tried to help people of the State with more and more Railway facilities. The project is estimated to cost about Rs. 243 crore. He said, electrification of railway tracks would reduce the country’s dependence o­n imported diesel which accounts for large outflow of foreign exchange reserve. This will help the country to become self-reliant and also considerably reduce pollutions. The Minister said that electrification of New Bongaigaon – Guwahati section was progressing well and was likely to be completed by end of next year.

The Minister said that 98% of work for bridge over river Brahmaputra at Bogibeel near Dibrugarh has been completed and the bridge will be opened in December this year.

Shri Gohain also said that a proposal for setting up a Digital Rail Museum at Guwahati station is under active consideration of the Railway Ministry. He also said that he had asked the concerned officials to examine feasibility of setting up of a Cleaning Training Centre as set up in New Tinsukia which would be providing training to railway staff as well other unemployed youths o­n use of machines for cleaning and other aspects of cleaning in trains and railway premises so that employment can be generated through skill-development.

He said, as part of the redevelopment works Guwahati station will be given a new look by improvement of circulating area, construction of 12 new retiring rooms, construction of covered walk-way, improvements to passenger amenities and construction of an International Tourist Bureau. The station circulating area will be improved and provided with Granite flooring and another escalator will be provided.

It may be mentioned that re-development of stations through Soft Upgrades is part of Indian Railways plan to bring visible changes in railway stations without piecemeal short-term constructions so that passengers get better amenities and comfort while undertaking journeys. The project for redevelopment of Guwahati station will cost about Rs. 15 crores.

(Pranav Jyoti Sharma)

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