Agartala, Sept. 10: The work on extending railway connectivity between Agartala and Tripura’s southernmost subdivision Sabroom is hamstrung by funds crunch and land acquisition problems.
A 5km stretch of land between Bishalgarh subdivision and Charilam continues to be under encroachment.
Almost 80 per cent of the 135km-long railway track between Agartala and Sabroom passes through a reserve forest area, which has not yet received clearance from the Union ministry of environment and forests. So this stretch of land cannot be brought under railway network.
Harpal Singh, chief engineer (construction) of NF Railway, said they have sought chief minister Manik Sarkar’s intervention in clearing the land between Bishalgarh and Charilam of encroachers and to secure clearance from the Centre.
He visited Tripura yesterday as the head of a delegation of NF Railway officials to monitor the progress in work.
“Another major problem we are facing is funds crunch, mainly because of the steep price escalation. The project was scheduled to be completed by March 2014 but, as things stand now, it will take another year. We hope the railway connectivity between Agartala and Sabroom will be effective in March 2016,” Singh said.
He said the chief minister he assured them of all co-operation and that land acquisition problems would be satisfactorily resolved.
Besides, Singh said, the task of laying broad-gauge track between Lumding and Agartala would be completed by March 2015.