All NE capitals to be linked with Delhi by 2024: Raosaheb Patil Danve

AGARTALA: All the Northeastern State capitals would be connected with the national capital by railway network by 2024, Minister of State for Railways, Raosaheb Patil Danve, said here on Friday.

The Minister, who is on a three-day visit to Tripura, said that ever since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, the Centre has taken up an ambitious project to extend the railway network in the Northeastern region in a mission mode.

“To connect the State capitals of all the Northeastern States by railway network with the national capital, projects are under implementation. Over 60 per cent work on these projects have already been completed and the remaining 40 per cent work would be completed by 2024,” Danve told the media.

Guwahati (adjoining Assam’s capital Dispur), Tripura capital Agartala and Arunachal Pradesh’s Naharlagun (adjacent to the State capital Itanagar) are already connected with Delhi by rail.

Danve also said that by December this year, the work on the Agartala-Akhaura (Bangladesh) railway project would be completed in the Indian territory.

“Once the Agartala-Akhaura railway project is commissioned, people of the Northeastern States, especially Tripura, can go to Kolkata by rail saving 22 hours of travel time. Currently, the people of the region, especially those in Tripura and its adjoining areas, go to Kolkata via Guwahati by rail, spending more than 38 hours,” the Minister pointed out.

Earlier on Friday, Danve visited the under-construction 12.24 km Agartala-Akhaura railway project on the outskirts of Agartala.

The Agartala-Akhaura railway line would facilitate ferrying of goods to and from both the countries and greatly benefit India’s land-locked Northeastern States.

Officials in the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) said that the journey time between Agartala and Kolkata, via Bangladesh, would be reduced by a third, from 1,613 km through the Northeastern States via Siliguri, to a mere 514 km.

The NFR is the nodal agency of the Rs 1,000 crore Agartala-Akhaura railway project, which was finalized in January, 2010 when Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina met then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during her visit to New Delhi.

Of the 12.24 km India-Bangladesh railway line, 5.46 km railway tracks are being laid in India (on the outskirts of Agartala), while 6.78 km railway tracks will be laid on the Bangladesh side. (IANS)

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