Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday asked the railways to expedite the survey work on the proposed railway line from Bhalukpong to Tawang on the China border and said all other railway projects to different districts in the hill state should be started as early as possible.
Reviewing the progress of survey of several railway projects to Arunachal Pradesh with NK Prasad, General Manager (Construction) of Northeast Frontier Railway in Itanagar, Khandu pointed out that once completed, the railway line will cut down travel distance between Bhalukpong to Tawang from 385 km to just 165 km.
GM Prasad on his part informed that while a new railway line from North Lakhimpur in Assam to Ziro in Lower Subansiri district has been already approved, the Centre has given the go-ahead for a new railway line from Silapathar (Assam) to Aalo, headquarter of West Siang district.
“Once these railway lines become functional, they will immensely benefit the people in general and farmers in particular. Farmers of Arunachal Pradesh have not been able to send their produce to the markets due to lack of connectivity,” Khandu said. He also asked the railways to immediately start the survey and investigation works and assured support and cooperation from the state government.
NF Railway GM (Construction) Prasad on his part informed that survey for three railway lines – Margherita to Deomali (31 km), Lekhapani to Kharsang (25 km) and Itakhola to Seijosa (18 km) have been already completed.
Survey for five more railway lines was also in progress, Prasad said. These five lines are – Doomdooma-Namsai-Wakro (96 km), Dangri-Roing (60 km), Deomali-Naharkatia (20 km), Kharsang-Miao-Nampong-New Kamlang-Deban (75 km) and Tinsukia-Pasighat via Simaluguri Kanubari (300 km).
Right now Arunachal Pradesh has only two rail-heads, one up to Bhalukpong on the road to Tawang, the up to Naharlagun, about 13 km short of Itanagar, the state capital. While Naharlagun has a weekly train to New Delhi and a daily train to Guwahati, Bhalukpong is connected with local trains to Tezpur in Assam.