Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Hon’ble Minister of Railways on 3rd February, 2023 held an interaction with media persons of Northeast virtually from New Delhi in connection with the Railway Budget 2023-24. Shri Anshul Gupta, General Manager of N. F. Railway and senior railway officials of Headquarters were also present. Similar programme was also held in all the divisions of N. F. Railway where Divisional Railway Managers were participated. Media persons from different places joined virtually. While addressing the media persons, the Minister of Railways informed that a capital outlay of Rs. 2.40 lakh crore has been provided for the Railways. This year allocation is the highest ever outlay which is about 9 times outlay made in 2013-14 and 51% more than the last year.
The Minister of Railways said that 59 stations in Northeast to be developed with world class amenities/facilities. Keeping in view the heritage concept of ‘Virasat Bhi, Vikas Bhi’, he informed that 310 old train coaches will be converted to LHB coaches for better riding experience and comfortable journey for the passengers. During last year, 445 KM of railway tracks have been electrified in Assam. 15 station each in all divisions of NFR to be developed under Amrit Bharat Station Scheme.
During the interaction, the Minister informed that adequate fund has been allotted for overall development of railway infrastructure in all North Eastern states. For the first time, an amount of Rs. 1.20 lakh crore has been earmarked for connecting the hilly and border areas.
Moreover, the Gross Budget Allocation for N. F. Railway for the FY 2023-24 is Rs. 10,988.80crore. It is 13.75% more than previous year’s allotment (Rs 9,660.14 Crs). The allocation for North-eastern states is Rs. 10,269 crore which is about Rs. 300 crore higher than the last year.This year budget allocation shows unprecedented growth in several segments like new line and doubling projects, track renewal works, traffic facilities, road safety works, bridge works, signalling, workshop modernisation and customer amenities etc. Around Rs. 6591 crore has been allocated for new lines while it is Rs. 1364 crore for doubling of railway tracks. The Minister of Railways also informed that total railway infrastructure projects of Rs. 75,795 crore are going on in entire North-eastern region.
Adequate allocation has been made for early execution of all the ongoing works. Around Rs. 1100 crore has been allocated for Dimapur - Kohima new line projects while Rs. 800 crore is earmarked for execution of the Jiribam - Imphal new line projects. Other capital connectivity projects in the North-eastern states such as Sivok - Rangpo new line projects in Sikkim gets Rs. 2350 crore while Rs. 915 crore has been allocated for Bairabi – Sairang new line projects in Mizoram. Among other new line projects, Rs. 200 crore for Agartala – Akhaura international connectivity project between India and Bangladesh and around Rs. 700 crore is allocated for Araria – Galgalia project.
Rs. 600 crore for New Bongaigaon – Rangiya – Kamakhya and Rs. 500 crore for New Bongaigaon- Goalpara – Kamakhya have been allocated for speedy execution of the ongoing track doubling works. Moreover, Rs. 115 crore has been allocated for the doubling works between Katihar – Kumedpur and Katihar – Mukuria sections to further improve train connectivity to and from Northeast.
It is to be mentioned here that Agthori station near Guwahati will be redeveloped with world class facilities at a cost of Rs. 517 crore.