Railway Minister, CMs of Tripura and Assam jointly inaugurates new railway services
First Published: 19th October, 2023 20:56 IST
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted the rapid progress being made in developing railway infrastructure and connectivity in northeast
Minister for Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw, along with Tripura Chief Minister Dr. Manik Saha and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, jointly inaugurated new railway services in the region.
They launched the Lokmanya Tilak Express train, which will now connect Agartala to Mumbai, and a special DEMU local train that will run from Agartala to Sabroom, the last point in Tripura before Bangladesh.
During the event, it was emphasized that the central government has extensive plans for the comprehensive development of the connectivity network in the northeastern region and Jammu and Kashmir.
In his inaugural address, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted the rapid progress being made in developing railway infrastructure and connectivity in northeast and Jammu and Kashmir.
He mentioned that an annual rail budget of Rs. 10,270 crores is now allocated to the northeast, a significant increase from the Rs. 1.5-2 thousand crores before 2014. Major railway projects are advancing swiftly in states like Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Assam, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
He emphasized that the central government has significantly expanded train services in the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir.
Furthermore, the Railway Minister pointed out that the number of train services in Tripura has increased from four pairs of trains before 2018 to 17 pairs of trains today. Electrification work is in progress, enabling the introduction of electric trains in Tripura by early next year.
Tripura Chief Minister Dr. Manik Saha underscored the importance of the forthcoming Agartala Akhaura rail link, which is set to connect mainland India through this small state.
He said that this rail link is expected to reduce the existing 1,600 km distance between Agartala and Kolkata by road to about 500 km via railways through Bangladesh.
The international railway connectivity project is nearing completion and is expected to be commissioned by the end of this year, significantly reducing travel time between Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka.
CM Saha also expressed hope for the extension of services of the Tripurasundari Express and Kanchanjungha Express to Sabroom, with stoppages at Udaipur and Belonia, which are important locations in South Tripura.
He anticipates that the central government will consider and implement these project proposals in the near future.