Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated passenger trains for Manipur and Mizoram improving railway connectivity in the land-locked North East region. The trains include Bhairabi-Silchar and Jiribam-Silchar passenger trains which would bring Mizoram and Manipur on the broad gauge passenger railway map of India, while the Kamakhya-Katra Express would link Assam directly with Jammu and Kashmir.
Flagging off the trains during a public reception at the Polo grounds here, the Prime Minister said “We have sanctioned Rs 10,000 crore for the development of railway network in the North East region.”
He said the Railway ministry was planning to spend Rs 5000 crore during the current year for expanding rail network in the region.
The Prime Minister said the centre has come up with a mission policy to upgrade roads, telecommunication, power and waterways in the region apart from railways.
“This will give a boost to the economic development of the region,” he said.
Earlier in the day, railway officials said at the NEC plenary meeting that commissioning of lines in the region has increased from 68 km in 2011-12 to 537 km in 2015-16.
Of the 25 ongoing railway projects with an anticipated cost of Rs 63,045 crore, Rs 29,095 crore have been spent since April 1 this year, they said.
Highlighting the targeted commissioning of some of the projects, the officials said the Bhairabi-Sairang (Mizoram) route was to be commissioned by 2018-19, and the Dimapur-Zubza (Nagaland), Sevok-Rangpo (Sikkim) and the Byrnihat-Shillong (Meghalaya) routes were set to be commissioned by 2019-20.
The deadline set for Tetelia-Byrhinat route in Meghalaya was by early next year, as per the 2020 vision document of the Indian Railways.