| The newly constructed railway bridge. Picture by Bijoy Kr Sharma |
Dhubri, Dec. 28: Train service is expected to commence soon on the newly laid railway track from Dhubri district in Assam to New Cooch Behar railway station in North Bengal.
A senior officer of the Alipurduar railway division said, “The official inspection and trial and run were done to satisfaction. We are now waiting for the final nod from the higher railway authorities to introduce the new train service on this route.”
The divisional railway manager at Alipurduar railway junction, R.N. Singh, said the track from Golokganj in Dhubri district to New Cooch Behar was completed on a war footing a few months ago and they were waiting for the green signal from the higher authorities to start the train service on this route.
“All the work, including the trial run, has been completed but this is not enough. It requires manpower to run a train on a new route. The service will be introduced soon, but when I cannot say,” Singh said.
A railway source said the new train was likely to be a DMU (diesel multiple unit), like the one that runs between New Cooch Behar and Malda at present.
He also said that the actual route of the train was likely to be longer —from Dhubri to Siliguri, via Golokganj and New Cooch Behar railway stations. The train is likely to be introduced tentatively from January, but the date and timing are yet to be finalised, he added.
There was a railway service from Dhubri to Cooch Behar via Golokganj junction about five decades ago. The Assam Line Railway Service, as it was known, also connected East Pakistan even after Partition till the early seventies. But the route has remained dysfunctional for almost five decades now. The Bangladesh War and subsequent collapse of the twin-track (road and rail) bridge over the Gangadhar near Golokganj town during the seventies totally cut off Dhubri’s railway communication with Bengal.
The joint convener of New Moinaguri-Jogighopa BG Railway Line Demand Committee, Tazmul Haque, said a delegation of the committee had called on Union railway minister Dinesh Trivedi in New Delhi on December 8 with various demands, including immediate introduction of a train on the Dhubri-New Cooch Behar route and accelerating work on the new Gouripur-Jogighopa BG railway track. “The minister assured us that the work would be implemented speedily and the new train service would be introduced at the earliest,” Haque added.