Dhubri, Aug. 27: Railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge has assured the New Moina-guri-Jogighopa Railway Extension Demand Committee of looking into its demands.
The committee’s joint convener, Tazmul Haque, told reporters here today that Kharge gave them a patient hearing when they met him in New Delhi last week and told them that work on the Gauripur-Jogighopa stretch of the new Moinaguri-Jogighopa railway line extension project had been halted because of paucity of funds.
“Kharge, however, assured us that necessary funds would be made available from the Prime Minister’s special package funds kept aside for development of Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast to finish the work,” Haque said.
He said Kharge understood the importance of early completion of the project. Till now, a one-way rail route connects Assam and the Northeast with the rest of the country, but completion of this project will provide an alternative route.
The delegates also met DoNER minister Paban Singh Ghatowar and urged him to pursue the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in consultation with Kharge. Ghatowar, too, assured them that the matter would be taken seriously, Haque said.
Dhubri MP Badruddin Ajmal, one of the delegates, met Singh during the visit and requested him to release funds from his special development package, sources in the committee said.
They said at present the total cost of the project was Rs 2,450 crore of which Rs 1,600 crore had already been spent and another Rs 700 crore was required.
They said they would soon meet NF Railway general manager R.S. Virdi and place their demands for introducing Sampark Kranti Express on Guwahati-Golokganj-New Cooch Behar route, extension of Uttarbanga Express up to Dhubri, Dhubri-Guwahati inter-city train and making the Dhubri-Silghat Rajyarani Express daily which now runs thrice a week besides a stopfor Saraighat Express at Goalpara station.