Agartala: With a railway division to be set up at Silchar in Assam, Tripura Transport Minister Manik Dey on Friday questioned why one could not be set up in his state.
"We have come to know that some more new railway divisions will be created in the country, including one in Silchar in southern Assam. We are not against it, but why a division will not be created here?" Dey asked.
He told reporters that there was a railway division in Lumding in Assam which was 398 km away from Agartala and from there the railway line would be extended to Sabroom in South Tripura district, a distance of 110 km.
"The distance between Sabroom and South East Asia?s best port, Chittagong, is just 75 km. If the railway reaches Sabroom, there is proposal that it would be connected to Chittagong port by multi modal transport system.”
"So, creation of a rail division in Tripura also assumes significance from the international point of view," he said.
Referring to his letters written earlier, he said , "after the railway reached here in meter gauge format on October 5 in 2008, I wrote two letters to Railway Board for setting up a railway division and a railway recruitment centre here."
"But they turned down our request through a letter on May 26, 2010. It is a clear instance of deprivation and failure to understand the importance of the place," he claimed.
He said, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to request him to set up a railway division.
Agartala was important because it was a state capital and a 15 km long railway track would be laid soon to connect Akhaura in Bangladesh for linking the Bangla-India railway network for train services to Kolkata via the neighbouring country, he added.
He said that gauge conversion from meter gauge to broad gauge up to Agartala would be completed by March next year and extension of 50 km railway track from Agartala to Udaipur in Gomati district would be completed in the same period.