Status Updates on Rail Connectivity to Northeast’s Capital Cities

Indian Railways has taken up works of new broad gauge lines to connect the capital cities of North Eastern States such as Meghalaya (Shillong), Manipur (Imphal), Nagaland (Kohima), Mizoram (Aizawl) and Sikkim (Gangtok).

The details were provided in a written reply to a query in the Rajya Sabha by Piyush Goyal Union Railway Minister.

The present status of these projects is as under:-

(1) Manipur:   The project of BG line connectivity from Jiribam to Imphal (110.62 km) in Manipur State was sanctioned in 2003-04.  The latest anticipated cost of the project is Rs 13,809 crore and expenditure of Rs 8,487.74 crore has been incurred up to March, 2019.

The section from Jiribam to Vangaichungpao (12 km) was commissioned in March, 2017 and works from Vangaichungpao-Tupul-Imphal (98.62 km) have been taken up throughout the length. 

(2)  Mizoram:    The project of BG line connectivity from Bhairabi to Sairang (51.38 km) (suburban city of Aizawl, the Capital city of Mizoram) in Mizoram was sanctioned in 2008-09.  The latest anticipated cost of the project is Rs 5,021.45 crore and the land could be made available in 2014-15 and work speeded up from 2015-16& the expenditure of Rs 2,671.85 crore has been incurred on the project up to March, 2019.

The construction work has been taken up throughout the length of project and 87 per cent tunneling work has been completed and the work on 6 tall bridges has been taken up. 

(3) Nagaland: The project of BG line connectivity from Dimapur (Dhansiri) – Zubza (Kohima) (82.50 km) (suburban city of Kohima, the Capital city of Nagaland) in Nagaland was sanctioned in 2006-07.  The latest anticipated cost of the project is Rs 3,000 crore and thework speeded up from September, 2018and the expenditure of Rs 729.89 crore has been incurred on the project up to March, 2019.

The construction work has been taken up throughout the length of project.  For complete commission of the project, the work of acquiring balance land in 8 km length has been taken up (ownership disputes).  Target for completion for complete project is 3 years after complete land is handed over to Railways.

(4) Meghalaya:Two projects of BG line have been taken up for Capital connectivity of Meghalaya.

(i)New BG line from Tetelia – Byrnihat (21.50 km) in Meghalaya was sanctioned in 2006-07. The latest anticipated cost of the project is Rs 1,532 crore and thework speeded up from 2014-15, 10 km length of the project falling in Assam State from Tetelia to Kamalajari got completed in October, 2018 and expenditure of Rs 581.32 crore has been incurred upto March, 2019.  Some organization is stating that railway connectivity may lead to influx of outsiders and this has led to local resistance to this project in Meghalaya.  Target for complete project is 2 years after complete land is physically handed over to Railways.

(ii)New BG line from Byrnihat to Shillong (108.40 km) was sanctioned in 2010-11.  The latest anticipated cost of the project is Rs 6,000 crore and the expenditure of Rs 261.03 crore has been incurred on the project up to March, 2019.  Some organization is stating that railway connectivity may lead to influx of outsiders and this has led to local resistance to this project in Meghalaya.  Final Location Survey has not been allowed (by local people) to be conducted in around 5 km length and also not allowing to fix centre line pillars in alignment. Hence, target for completion not fixed, as the same would be decided, once the entire land is physically handed over to Railways.

(5)  Sikkim:  The project of BG line connectivity from Sivok to Rangpo (44.39 km) was sanctioned in 2008-09.  The latest anticipated cost of the project is Rs 4,085.69 crore and the expenditure of Rs 645.77 crore has been incurred on the project upto March, 2019.

The project suffered on account of delay in handing over of encumbrance free forest land by Government of West Bengal.  However, now the work has been started on the land handed over so far.  Still 26 structures falling in Railway alignment need to be shifted by Government of West Bengal, which is hampering the progress of work.  Target for completion of complete project is 3 years after complete physical possession of land is given to Railways.

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