The much-awaited Agartala-Anand Vihar Rajdhani Express was flagged off from here today by Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain. The train would formally start its operations from November 6. The Rajdhani would leave the Agartala station for Delhi on Mondays and embark on its return journey from Anand Vihar on Wednesdays. The 2457-km-long journey would be covered in 40 hours and 50 minutes, a Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) official said.
Flagging off the train, Gohain said the Centre had plans to extend Rajdhani services to Imphal by 2020.
“We have no dearth of money for extending railway services in the region and we also do not depend on the party in power in a state for our projects,” Gohain said, adding that most states in the northeast would be connected by a broad-gauge railway network in the next two years.
After Guwahati and Dibrugarh in Assam, Agartala was the third city in the northeast to get a Rajdhani.
“The 14-coach train, with one AC first-class, two AC two-tier, eight AC three-tier coaches, one pantry car and two power-cum-luggage vans, will stop at 16 stations,” the NFR official added.
Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy, state PWD Minister Badal Chowdhury, Transport Minister Manik Dey, Lok Sabha MPs Jiten Chowdhury and Shankar Prasad Datta, and local MLA Dilip Sarkar were also present at the inauguration ceremony.
The MPs and the ministers sought a railway division in Tripura on this occasion.
Gohain, however, said setting up a railway division in the state was not possible at the moment.
The minister also spoke about the Centre’s plans to establish a rail network to connect Chittagong in Bangladesh with Tripura.
“A feasibility analysis of laying down tracks between Chittagong with Tripura and another line between Agartala and Dharmanagar (North Tripura) was going on,” Gohain added.
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