Silchar, Sept. 22: The Lumding-Silchar Broad Gauge Implementation Action Committee has called a 12-hour Barak Valley strike on Tuesday in protest against the delay in construction of the rail route.
Addressing a news conference here today, the committee’s convener, Arunangshu Bhattacharjee, said, “We usually don’t get such mass support in a strike. But this time we have got overwhelming response from all sections, which highlights the importance and intensity of the issue. After the language struggle of 1961, we haven’t seen this kind of mass uprising. Major political organisations and other groups are supporting the cause. But my appeal to them is not to politicise the issue.”
“Our Tripura wing will also carry out an agitation at Agartala railway station on the day of the strike,” he said.
During the past couple of months, the committee has undertaken various programmes, including rail blockades and street meetings, to garner mass support.
The Silchar-Lumding broad gauge project, the foundation of which was laid on January 24, 1996, by the then Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, has been deferred several times. According to reports, Northeast Frontier Railway has set March 31, 2015, as the new deadline for commissioning of the 201km project. Reports suggest Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked the authorities concerned to accelerate the work.
Sources said the railways ministry has informed the parliamentary committee on home affairs that inadequate funds are holding up projects in the region. The ministry said it got less than half of the funds to complete projects.