The Government has put all its efforts to improve rail connectivity in the North East. The Northeast region of the country has received a significant infrastructure boost in railway sector in the last eight years (2014-2022).
Between 2014 and 2022, a total of 893.82 kms of track have been converted to broad gauge, 386.84 km new lines added, 356.41 Km double lines commissioned and survey of 1578 km new lines were completed. The railway network already connects the state capitals of Assam, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh with broad gauge lines. With the vision to connect the remaining state capitals and also increase the line capacity in the region, fund allocation in North-eastern states has been done to the tune of Rs 51,787 crores. The average fund allocation per year for the region in the last eight years is 254% more than the yearly average fund allocation in 2009-14.
The work to lay the broad gauge railway line has seen a upward curve. 21 new lines projects of 1641 kms, 10 double line projects of 1209 kms and 06 new lines national projects of 419.37 kms are under construction. An investment of Rs 95,261.65 crores is expected in the region to complete these projects. These projects have created large number of jobs in the region for gainful employment of locals and have also transformed the socio-economic landscape of the region.
The commissioning of the Bogibeel Bridge in 2018 was a moment of pride for this region. This longest Rail-cum-road bridge reduced the journey distance from upper Assam to Delhi by 170 kms and fulfilled a long time strategic need for rail connectivity across the mighty Brahmaputra in upper Assam.
The state capitals of Manipur, Mizoram and Meghalaya are expected to be connected by broad gauge by 2023. And Kohima, the state capital of Nagaland, is expected to be connected by 2026.
Apart from the new line and doubling works, efforts have also been made to increase railway safety in the region. NFR has eliminated all unmanned level crossing gates in the Northeast region. Safer, more reliable and more comfortable LHB coaches have been introduced in 40 pairs of trains from Northeast.
The railway system has also been made passenger friendly in the last eight years by providing Divyang toilets in 257 stations, lifts in 15 stations and escalators in 9 stations. Apart from these, free high-speed WiFi has been provided at all nominated stations.
The government firmly believes that Northeast will be the new growth engine of India and is working in the direction to make this a reality.