North eastern state capitals on Railway network

Agartala: To adhere to the mandate of North-East Vision 2020, all the state capitals of the North eastern states, except Sikkim, would be connected with the country’s mainstream railways by 2017, Railway sources said.

"Assam and Tripura is already connected and the others like Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland will be connected by 2017, but Sikkim is not included in this project. This project was envisaged to implement the proposals of the North East Vision 2020 formulated by North Eastern Council", Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) general manager (Construction) Vijaya Kanth told reporters yesterday.

"It is a major challenge for NF Railways. Lot of tunnels need to be constructed to fulfil the target as the region is mountanious", she said.

The GM who attended a review meeting with Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Chief Secretary SK Panda at Civil Secretariat here yesterday said the stretch between Lumding in Assam to Agartala would be converted into Broad Gauge (BG) by 2013 December.

"Insurgency has come down considerably in the NC Hill region in Assam but frequent bandh often foils the momentum of the construction work", she said.

On the review meeting, the GM said that progress of the existing rail projects in Tripura came up for discussion.

While the Agartala-Udaipur rail link is scheduled to be completed by 2012, another project- Agartala-Sabaroom will be executed by 2014 next, she said.