Massive push to railway infrastructure under way in Northeast

The Railways hopes to reach all state capitals in the Northeast by March 2020.

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap , Adam Halliday | Updated: July 22, 2016 6:40 pm
IMPHAL, Manipur, Northeast Express, AGARTALA, Tripura, AIZAWL, Mizoram, SHILLONG, Meghalaya, KOHIMA, Nagaland, ITANAGAR, Arunachal Pradesh, india news, news A railway track being laid in the Dima Hasao district of Assam. A massive push to railway infrastructure is currently under way in the entire Northeast. (Source: Express photo by Dasarath Deka )

IMPHAL, Manipur
For its supplies, Manipur is dependent solely on either NH2 from Numaligarh via Nagaland, or NH37 from Silchar. NH2 is mostly shut due to bandhs and blockades; NH37 is no more than a dirt track. The planned railway line from Jiribam to Imphal will link the capital with the rest of India through Silchar, Haflong, Lumding and Guwahati in Assam.

Vitals
Jiribam-Imphal, 110.63 km
* Estimated cost: Rs 6,570.75 cr
* Physical progress: 33.03% (12.5-km Jiribam-Dholakhal section completed in March 2012)
* Commissioning target: Ph 1 (Jiribam-Tupul) March 2018; Ph 2 (Tupul-Imphal) March 2019

High point
Bridge No. 164 with a pier height of 141 m will be the world’s highest girder bridge. Highest existing currently, the Mala Rijeka Viaduct in Montenegro, is 139 m high

Problems
* 33 militant groups operate in project area
* Economic blockades, bandhs are common
* Kidnappings, firing at work site common
* NH37 in bad shape, affects transportation of materials and machinery

A geographical map showing the northeastern parts of India A geographical map showing the northeastern parts of India

AGARTALA, Tripura
The Guwahati-Lumding-Badarpur-Kumarghat-Agartala broad gauge link will probably be commissioned by October 2016. What Agartala is looking forward to, however, is the link to Kolkata through Bangladesh — which will cut travel time to less than a fourth of the Badarpur-Lumding-Guwahati-Siliguri route. A 15.06-km line between Agartala and Akhaura in Bangladesh is on the cards.

Vitals
Badarpur (Assam)-Agartala, 227 km
* Metre gauge line needs conversion to broad
* Estimated cost: Rs 1846.97 cr [Rs 528.60 cr for Badarpur-Kumarghat Phase 1 (118 km); Rs 1,318.37 crore for Kumarghat-Agartala Phase 2 (109 km)]
* Physical progress: 13.01% in Phase 2
* Commissioning target: October 2016

AIZAWL, Mizoram
Like Itanagar, Mizoram’s capital too will never see a train. Phase 2 of project will take a broad gauge line from Bhairabi, bordering Assam’s Barak Valley, to Sairang, on the Tlawng/Dhaleshwari river 20 km from Aizawl, with stations at Hortoki and Mualkhang.

Vitals
Katakhal (Assam) to Sairang, 135.38 km
Phase 1: Katakhal-Bhairabi (Mizoram), 84 km
* Conversion from MG to broad gauge
* Estimated cost: Rs 331.40 cr
* Physical progress: 95.37%
* Commissioning target: March 2018

Phase 2: Bhairabi to Sairang, 51.38 km
* Estimated cost: Rs 2,830 cr
* Physical progress: 14.22%
* Commissioning target: March 2018

Strategic
The Railways is surveying a possible route from Sairang to Hmawngbuchhuah on Mizoram’s southern tip, bordering Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Hmawngbuchhuah neighbours Zochachhuah, where the under-construction Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP) enters Myanmar. The KMMTTP, a road-cum-inland-waterway trade route over Kaladan river, will connect Kolkata with the Myanmarese deep-sea port of Sittwe. NFR is likely to complete the survey by August.

SHILLONG, Meghalaya
Vitals
Tetelia (near Guwahati)-Shillong, 129.9 km
n Estimated cost: Rs 5804.14 cr

Phase 1: Digaru-Byrnihat,  21.50 km
* Cost: Rs 496.24 cr
* Physical progress: 22.89%

Phase 2: Byrnihat-Shillong, 108.4 km
* Physical progress: Survey on
* Commissioning target: March 2020

KOHIMA, Nagaland
The proposed line will be up to Zubza, 18 km ahead of the capital. “Outsiders” will need an Inner Line Permit.

Vitals
Dhansiri-Zubza, 91.75 km
* Estimated cost: Rs 2,317 cr
* Progress: First location survey complete
* Commissioning target: March 2020

ITANAGAR, Arunachal Pradesh
Vitals
Harmuti (Assam)-Naharlagun, 21.75 km
* Estimated cost: Rs 590 cr
* Progress: Commissioned on April 7, 2014

GANGTOK, Sikkim
Train can get to Rangpo, 38 km from capital

Vitals
Sivok (Bengal)-Rangpo (Sikkim), 44.96 km
* Estimated cost: Rs 4,190 cr
* Progress: Final locaton survey complete
* Commissioning target: March 2020
* Pending: MoEF clearance for 98.49 Ha of reserve forest, including 8.85 Ha in Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary

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