AIZAWL, March 28 (IANS): Another northeastern state capital would have railway connectivity next year as the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is laying the new Broad Gauge (BG) track up to Mizoram’s Sairang, about 20 km from the capital city Aizawl, officials said here on Sunday.
Assam’s main city of Guwahati (adjoining capital Dispur), Tripura capital Agartala, and Arunachal Pradesh’s Naharlagun (adjacent to capital city Itanagar) are already connected with the railway network.
NFR officials said that the BG line being laid in the Bairabi (near Assam’s Hailakandi district) – Sairang (52 km) section in Mizoram’s Aizawl district, and the Rs 6,547 crore project would be completed in November 2023.
Mizoram chief secretary Renu Sharma accompanied by the state government and railway officials inspected the on-going civil works on various locations of Bairabi-Sairang BG railway line.
NFR’s deputy chief engineer (Construction) Harjemal Meena and executive engineer (Construction) Malay Baruah briefed the chief secretary on the progress of the work including the construction of many bridges and several tunnels.
The chief secretary said that the Bairabi-Sairang railway project being a ‘National Project’ of importance, once completed, would not just be an asset for Mizoram but would be an economic asset for the nation.
Mizoram government officials said that the BG railway line from Bairabi to Sairang was approved by the Central government in 2008-2009 at an initial cost of Rs 2,384.34 crore as a national project.
Work on the project commenced in 2015 and the revised timeline for its completion is November 2023. About 70 per cent work of the project has been completed so far.
With 55 major bridges, 87 small bridges and 32 tunnels (total length of the tunnels is about 12.63 km) with the longest tunnel about 1.88 km in length, Bairabi-Sairang railway line would have four stations — Hortoki, Kawnpui, Mualkang and the terminal station at Sairang.
Despite the unfavourable topography and the almost 6 to 7 months long monsoon season and adverse climate besides various other challenges, good progress has been made so far on the 52 km railway project, the NFR officials said.