New Proposal to Expand Railway Budget in Northeastern India

7 Billion Rupees for Bogibeel Bridge Project

Last week, India’s parliament tabled the 2015-2016 Union Railway budget. It contained proposals for a considerable increase in funding for existing projects in Assam and the Northeastern region.

A total outlay of Rs. 4486 cores have been proposed for the already sanctioned works of construction of New Lines over N. F. Railway which is 9% more than the funds allotted for 2014-15.

While presenting the Budget, the Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said Indian Railways is committed to provide rail connectivity to all the Northeastern States.

“After Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalya have been brought onto the railway map of India this year, the Barak Valley would also be brought on Broad Gauge by March this year and work for connecting the remaining States in the region is also progressing well,” the Union Railway minister said.

Special emphasis has been placed on the doubling of tracks over N. F. Railway.

Two new works have been sanctioned Bongaigaon Goalpara Guwahati (176 km) at an estimated cost Rs. 1832 crores and Digaru Hojai (102km) at an estimated cost of Rs. 946 crores.

As the Guwahati Digaru and LumdingHojai Patch Doubling works had already been sanctioned earlier, the sanctioning of the Digaru Hojai Doubling will ensure double line for the complete Guwahati a'” Lumding section.

For the three Patch Doubling works already sanctioned in the New Jalpaiguri a'” New Coochbehar a'” Samuktala Road section in North Bengal, Rs. 395 crore have been allotted this year.

The total fund allotment for Doubling works over N. F. Railway is Rs. 509 crores which is 26% more than the allotment made last year.

An outlay of Rs. 701 cores has been proposed for the Bogibeel Bridge project for 2015-16 which is 17% more than the outlay for 2014-15.

A new Goods Terminal Siding has been proposed for Azara at an estimated cost of Rs. 34 cores.

Considering the Safety implications, significant emphasis has been laid on manning of Unmanned Level Crossings (UMLCs) in the Budget and a total of 306 UMLCs over the N. F. Railway including a total of 207 UMLCs in Assam are proposed to be manned.

In other hand, 35 UMLCs under Alipurduar Division (West Bengal State) and 64 UMLCs under Katihar Division in West Bengal & Bihar have been proposed to be manned.

30 Light Road Over Bridges in lieu of Level Crossings have also been proposed for Katihar Division including Eklakhi Balurghat, Katihar Kumedpur, Katihar Jogbani, Barsoi Radhikapur and Jalpaiguri Road Haldibari sections.

One subway in lieu of Level Crossing has been proposed between Kokrajhar Salakati in Assam.

In order to augment train maintenance facilities and thereby enabling running of more trains, one additional pit line has been proposed for Dibrugarh.