Rail Connectivity To North East On A Mission Mode

As per Indian Railway’s Vision Document – 2020, Government had planned to connect all States of North Eastern States by 2020 except Sikkim with Railway connectivity. In keeping with it’s commitment, Indian Railways has provided Rail connectivity to all North-Eastern States (except Sikkim). With the sanction of new line work from Sivok in West Bengal up to Rangpo, Sikkim is also expected to be connected by December 2022. Great emphasis has been given by Central Government during last 5 years towards quick execution of infrastructure and safety projects.

Funding to the infrastructure projects has also increased considerably.In order to provide faster connectivity in North – Eastern States Indian Railways has doubled tunnelling output during 2014-19 which is 54.324 KM in comparison to the period of 2009-14 which was only 31.7 Km.The cumulative expenditure in New Line / Gauge Conversion / Doubling infrastructure projects during 2014-18 was Rs, 25908 crore as against 10612 crore during 2009-13 which is around 144% more than during 2009-13. The average allotment per year for North Eastern States was Rs.2122.40 crore per year from 2009-14

However, it increased 144% to Rs.5181.60 crore per year for this region during 2014- 19. The capitals of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura States are already connected by Broad Gauge (BG) rail network while Capital of Manipur will be connected by Rail Network by March, 2022 , Capitals of Mizoram and Nagaland will be connected by March, 2023. Two projects of BG line have been taken up for Capital connectivity of Meghalaya. In new BG line project from Tetelia in Assam to Byrnihat in Meghalaya, about 10 km length out of total 21.5 kms falling in Assam portion from Tetelia to Kamalajari got completed in October, 2018

Target date for completion of the project is March 2022 Work for the new BG line from Byrnihat to Shillong (108.40 km) for connecting the capital of Meghalaya was sanctioned in 2010-11. The progress of the projects are affected due to protests from different organisations in Meghalaya.With the commencement of rail connectivity to all the State Capitals of NorthEastern States, the socio-economic development of the region and integration with rest of India will see new heights.