Northeast to witness first international cross-border railway connectivity

In the backdrop of the Central government’s resolute commitment to enhancing border connectivity, the Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of Northeast Frontier Railway, Sabyasachi De, stated on Saturday...

In the backdrop of the Central government’s resolute commitment to enhancing border connectivity, the Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of Northeast Frontier Railway, Sabyasachi De, stated on Saturday that the government is dedicated to enhancing connectivity in border regions. De highlighted that the Northeast region is on the brink of establishing its inaugural international cross-border railway link.

According to a report, he noted that an allocation of INR 1.20 lakh crore has been set aside for the development of railway infrastructure in the North eastern region. This allocation is intended to facilitate connectivity in hilly and border areas.

Regarding the railway’s endeavors to boost border connectivity, Sabyasachi De conveyed, “Our primary focus is on the Indo-China border. We are also extending our efforts towards Myanmar; the Imphal-Moreh line has received preliminary approval.”

He elaborated, “The Sairang-Hbichhuah railway line, located south of Mizoram and connecting to the Kaladan Multimodal Project, has been granted approval. Moreover, the Agartala-Akhaura railway project is soon to be commissioned. The North east will soon experience its first international cross-border railway connectivity.”

He emphasised the railway’s efforts to connect various border regions, aiming to increase trade with neighboring countries. He underscored the significance of projects like the Sairang-Hbichhuah line, which will offer access to the Sittwe Port in Myanmar.

The dormant Mahisasan railway station, situated alongside the Kushiyara River and the Mahisashan-Shahbajpur route, is poised to play a pivotal role in the North eastern region’s development and India’s bilateral trade with Bangladesh.

De indicated that the goal is to facilitate smooth goods transportation to the Northeast, ultimately lowering product costs and playing a vital role in the region’s development.

Investment and initiatives in the railway infrastructure

Addressing ongoing projects, De said, “Our foremost projects in the Northeast include state capital connectivity initiatives, focusing on connecting Sikkim, Mizoram, Manipur, and Nagaland.”

De also shared, “This financial year, the Railway Ministry has allocated INR 1.20 lakh crore for border area connectivity, primarily focusing on creating railway lines in the border regions of Northeast, particularly Arunachal Pradesh.”

Highlighting station development, he revealed, “The Amrit Bharat Station Scheme, which envisions station redevelopment, is underway. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently initiated this scheme, marking the foundation laying for 508 stations across the country, including 32 in Assam and 56 in the Northeast.”

De added, “Significant station redevelopment projects are also in progress, such as the New Jalpaiguri station, a gateway to the Northeast, and the Dimapur railway station, one of the largest in the region.”

Discussing electrification efforts, De mentioned that these works are nearing completion. “Most sections have been electrified – including Meghalaya (Mendipathar). Within this financial year, the entire Northeast region is expected to be electrified.” Heunderlined the substantial investment in railway development in the North-Eastern region and the forward-looking plans for the next decade.

Finally, addressing wildlife protection, he highlighted the introduction of an Intrusion Detection System to safeguard elephant corridors, stating that the Northeast Frontier Railway leads the nation in wildlife protection. The railway has allocated INR 77 crore for covering all elephant corridors in the Northeast, further solidifying its commitment to the region’s development.

Read also:  Eastern Borderlands: Rethinking Livelihoods, Security, Connectivity in the North East in the Digital Age

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