The fund allocation for the railway projects in the northeastern states has been increased by 254 per cent in the last eight years (2014-2022) compared to the previous same period, Minister of State for Railways and Textiles Darshana Jardosh said here on Thursday.
The MoS Railways said that the expansion of rail connectivity in the northeast has been the topmost priority of the Central government.
“The fund allocation for rail connectivity in the NE states has been increased by 254 per cent in the last eight years (2014-22) compared to the previous same period. It would help in improving connectivity as well as assist the northeastern region becoming a logistic hub leading to economic transformation,” the central minister said.
Jardosh accompanied by Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh held a meeting to review the progress of the Jiribam – Imphal New Railway project in Imphal. Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) General Manager Anshul Gupta and other senior railway and state government officials were also present during the review meeting.
NFR Chief Public Relations Officer Sabyasachi De said that during the review meeting, it was decided to keep the momentum of work in full pace to meet the already set timeline in coordination with the state government.
He said despite the devastating landslide on June 29-30 which happened near the railway project in Noney district and various other challenges, the entire Railway workforce has been working relentlessly to expedite the completion of the Jiribam-Imphal railway project.
In the landslides, at least 61 people, mostly Territorial Army soldiers, were killed and few remained missing while many sustained injuries.
Jardosh also inspected various construction sites of the 110 km long Jiribam-Imphal project, anticipated cost of which is around Rs 14,322 crore. In the current financial year, Rs 1,300 crore has been planned to be invested.
According to the CPRO, the vital railway project, which would cover all the major districts of Manipur — Jiribam, Tamenglong, Noney, Kangpokpi, Imphal West — are targeted to be completed by December 2023.
Currently, the journey from Jiribam to capital city Imphal takes around 10-2 hours by road and after completion of this railway project, the same distance shall be covered in less than two hours.
It would also help in ferrying of essential commodities faster by the state and also help the state’s local producers to export their products outside the state quickly, De said.
He said that the construction of the Jiribam-Imphal new Broad Gauge line project is going on as part of connecting all the state capitals of the northeastern states through railways.
Assam’s main city of Guwahati (adjoining capital Dispur), Tripura capital Agartala, and Arunachal Pradesh’s Naharlagun (adjacent to capital city Itanagar) are already connected with the railway network.