More Railway Projects For India North Eastern Region

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NE Railway Infrastructure Expansion: Suresh Prabhu

At the 60th National Level Railway Week Award Function in Guwahati last week, Union Railway minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said the Centre aims to further develop railway infrastructure in the North Eastern region.

“Remote areas of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland will be included in the Indian railway map,” Prabhu said.

“In view of the Prime Minister’s special emphasis and focus on the development of the North Eastern region, the significance accorded to the development of Railway infrastructure in this region by Indian Railways and the nation’s commitment towards the welfare of north eastern people, the Ministry of Railways celebrated its most momentous National level Award Function marking 60th Railway Week this year at Guwahati which is the nerve centre of the entire North East,” the Union railway minister said.

The Railways National Programme for this year has been dedicated to the North Eastern Region and its people.

“Development of North Eastern Region has been an article of faith for the Central Government. Railway connectivity is obviously is an important factor in the development process. Indian Railways is earnestly committed to create adequate Railway infrastructure ( new lines, gauge conversions, station developments, new trains, passenger facility and amenities etc.) in North Eastern States. In view of the importance of this region, as many as 11 railway projects have been declared National Projects which receive uninterrupted funding from the Central Government. In 2014-15, more than Rs 5200 crore was provided for network expansion in NE Region. Again in 2015-16, an all time high outlay of over Rs 5300 crore has been provided for this purpose.”

– Suresh Prabhu.

There has been a lot of activity related to rail in the past few years.

Recently, Prime Minister Modi flagged off the first train on the new Dudhnai-Mendipathar railway. Dudhnai is located in the Goalpara district of Assam, and Mendipathar is in in Meghalaya.

The Mendipathar railway station is the first and only railway station in the hilly north eastern state of Meghalaya. Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the train station on November 30th lasy year, by video feed.

The Prime minister also laid the foundation stone for another new railway line from Bhairabi to Sairang, thereby connecting Aizawal, the capital of Mizoram state.

The Prime Minister revisited the region in February, 2015 and at that time, he inaugurated the line connecting Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh to Delhi.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the first Broad Gauge goods train on the Lumding-Silchar broad gauge (BG) line, completing broad gauge connectivity to the Barak valley and thereby through to the rest of the country. Passenger services on this section are expected to begin after the Commissioner of Railway Safety certifies the line.

The new Rangiya – Murkongselek Gauge Conversion project has now connected the entire North Bank of the Brahmaputra river, through broad gauge.

“Indian Railways is committed to provide connectivity to all capitals of North Eastern states by 2020. The Railways have made spectacular achievements and created engineering marvels despite challenging geological conditions, difficult terrain and adverse law and order situation. The field units in North Eastern region have also been empowered for faster decision making to expedite execution,” the Union railway minister said.

Outstanding performance awards were given to 151 officers and staff from all railways around India. The Ministry of Railways presented the awards at the National Railway Awards event.

An Essay Competition was held and four officers and staff (each in Hindi and English) were presented with awards. Six officers/staff won the Scrap Disposal Performance Prize-2015. The winners presented with shields were; the prestigious Govind Vallabh Pant shield for the best overall performance amongst the best zonal railways and production units was awarded to West Central Railway, Comprehensive Health Care Shield jointly for Eastern, Southern and Northern Railways, Civil Engineering Shield jointly for West Central and South Central Railways, Mechanical Engineering Shield for North Central railway, Electrical Engineering Traction Shield for South Eastern Railway, Electric Coaching & General Service Shield Western Railway.

The Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, Chairman, Railway Board A.K.Mital, Railway Board Mem bers, Secretary, Railway Board, General Manager, Northeast Frontier Railway, General managers of the other Zonal railways and the Production units and other senior railway officials made presentations at the function.

Signal & Telecommunication Shield jointly was awarded to the West Central railway and Central Railway, Personnel Management Shield jointly for East Coast railway and West Central Railways, Stores Shield doer South Central Railway, Security Shield for Northern Railway, Traffic Transportation Shield for East Coast Railway, Accounts & Finance Management Shield South East Central Railway, Commercial Shield for Central Railway, Civil Engineering Construction Shield Northeast Frontier Railway (Construction), Sales Management Shield for South Central Railway, Running Room Shield of Vijayawada Division of South Central railway, Level Crossing & Road Over/Under Bridge Safety Works Shield for Northern Railway, Passenger Security Shield for Northeast Frontier Railway, Safety Shield jointly for Southern and West Central Railways, Best Production Unit Shield for Integral Coach Factory, Best Railway Workshop (Rolling Stock) Shield KOTA Workshop of West Central Railway .Comprehensive Health Care Cup for New Zones East Coast Railway, Station Cleanliness Shield for Southern railway and Train Cleanliness Shield for Western railway .

Hemanta Kumar Nath is a correspondent in Assam, India, who reports on local news in Assam, the north east Indian state.