Vital north-east rail link back on track after two months

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Silchar (Assam)/Agartala, July 7 (IANS) The broad gauge line of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) — the lifeline of several north-eastern states — was restored on Thursday, almost two months after it was damaged by heavy rains.

The restoration of the rail traffic will be a great relief for southern Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and parts of Manipur which are linked to the railway network of India through the NFR line.

Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Pranav Jyoti Sharma said a new 300-metre track was laid to divert the route slightly at the problematic spot in Migrendisa in Dima Hasao district of southern Assam.

“After running goods train on the route on an experimental basis for a few days, we will decide on resuming normal passenger train service,” he told IANS over phone from NFR headquarters in Maligaon on the outskirts of Guwahati city.

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Huge landslides triggered by downpour damaged the tracks on April 27. Good train traffic was restored on May 6, only to be disrupted again from May 13 onwards. That cut off southern Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and parts of Manipur from the railway network.

The NFR converted the 110 years old metre gauge line to broad gauge last year in south Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram. However, poor soil conditions are hampering running of trains on certain sections.

The Guwahati-Silchar rail route is the lifeline for southern Assam comprising Cachar, Karimganj, Hailakandi, Dima Hasao districts, and the mountainous states of Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram.

The region is dependent on the rail line for supply of food grain, essential commodities, fertilisers, petroleum products, construction materials and other goods.

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