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23-year wait for train to end soon

April 6: Train services are likely to resume in Dhubri this Bihu, 23 years after floodwaters washed away the tracks in 1988, forcing authorities to suspend operations in the district. The 66-km gauge conversion project from Dhubri to Fakiragram is complete.

Tests and inspection of tracks have been done and stations between the two destinations have been renovated.

An engineer of railway construction, Sushil Kumar, who has been supervising the last phase of work, confirmed that construction on tracks is complete and they are fit for trains.

“But train service is a matter of railway traffic. So it is up to them (the authorities) when they will flag off the train from Dhubri,” Kumar added.

Thousands of people are now thronging Dhubri railway station every day to watch the last phase of inspection and are eagerly awaiting the day when the whistle will be blown for the train to chug out.

Social activist and nodal officer of the district disabled rehabilitation centre of Bharat Bikash Parishad, Partho Pradip Dutta, said it is a matter for rejoicing that people can board a train again from Dhubri.

“The younger generation has not seen trains running from here since a flood washed away the track between Dhubri and Gouripur in 1988. Since then, services have remained suspended. But now, the dream of people boarding a train will come true,” Dutta said.

The Dhubri district unit of Asom Yuva Parishad, the youth wing of the AGP, had submitted a memorandum to railway minister Mamata Banerjeee for introducing the Teesta-Torsa and Uttar Banga trains from Dhubri.

The general secretary of district unit of AYP, Enamul Hoque, said people’s aspirations would at last be fulfilled.

“But only a train to Guwahati will not serve the purpose of lakhs of commuters of this area. This is why besides the direct train from Dhubri to Guwahati, we have placed the demand for extending the Teesta-Torsa and Uttar-Banga train to Dhubri which are now running from New Coochbehar,” Hoque said.

The convenor of New Moinaguri-Jogighopa New BG Line Demand Committee, Tazmul Hoque, however, said the railways’ decision to suspend goods trains to Dhubri would have a far-reaching impact on the economy of the area.

“People are really happy over the proposed introduction of train services on broad gauge from Dhubri after a gap of 23 years. It will now be easier for the people of the entire Dhubri district and parts of Kokrajhar to travel to any destination on train on the cheap fare. But the decision to suspend goods train is an unwelcome move as the Dhubri port will open in a very short time,” Hoque said.

He said the committee has already submitted a memorandum to the railways demanding introduction of goods train to Dhubri as it would help shape the district’s economy.

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