The Telegraph
Friday , January 17 , 2014
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Arunachal set for rail debut

Guwahati, Jan. 16: Aruna-chal Pradesh is all set to be on the railway map by mid-2014.

According to the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), 90 per cent work on the railway track from Harmutty in Lakhimpur district of Assam to Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh has been completed and the maiden train will chug into the country’s easternmost state within the next six months.

NFR public relations officer Nripendra Bhattacharyya told The Telegraph today that a train engine was successfully run on the newly laid 20km broad-gauge track between Harmutty and Naharlagun railway stations on an experimental basis on Tuesday. Bhattacharyya said some work related to signals and construction of platforms remains to be done which is likely to be completed within the next couple of months.

“The track will be thrown open to trains following an inspection by the commissioner of railway safety,” he said.

The test run was conducted in the presence of Papum Pare deputy commissioner Pige Ligu and NFR chief engineers P.P. Bhutia and S.C. Rajak.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation of the project on January 31, 2008.

The work on the railway project started in October 2008 and was originally scheduled to be completed by December 2012. The project was delayed because of problems in removing high-tension power lines and obtaining forest clearance. The total cost of the project was around Rs 371 crore.

The Nabam Tuki government was putting pressure on the Centre for expediting the project so that it can showcase it as one of its achievements to the people of the state during campaigning for the upcoming general elections.

The railway line was a long-pending demand of Arunachal Pradesh, particularly its business community.

According to the NFR, the Harmutty-Naharlagun project was part of the railways’ plan to bring all the state capitals in the Northeast on the railway map.

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