The Indian Railways on Saturday started its final local survey for a 378-km railway line to Tawang on the China border, with Manoj Sinha, minister of state for railways formally inaugurating the work in Itanagar. While the survey work for the Tawang project – along with two more projects, the 248-km North Lakhimpur-Bame-Along-Silapathar line and the 227-km Pasighat-Tezu-Parasuramkunda-Rupai line – would be completed by the end of 2020, the three projects, when completed, would cost between Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000 crore, minister Sinha said.
“Modern surveying technique will be adopted for these projects to overcome the challenging terrain. It will take about three and a half years to complete these surveys and targeted to be completed by October, 2020,” he said.
The Tawang project in particular, which will take the railway line to an elevation of about 2669 metres, would involve construction of several very long tunnels and bridges up the Eastern Himalayas in western Arunachal Pradesh, the minister said.
“Expansion of rail connectivity in the Northeast has been the topmost priority of the government. North-eastern region has a very special place in all development agenda of the government. Arunachal Pradesh became the first North-eastern state after Assam to have broad gauge railway connectivity directly to its capital city,” minister Sinha said in Itanagar.