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Delay dogs track conversion

Silchar July 18: The conversion of the Silchar-Lumding 201km broad gauge track on the Barail hill range in Dima Hasao district still has a long way to go.

A Barak valley-based NGO, Silchar-Lumding Broad Gauge Implementation Agitation Committee, arrived at this conclusion after a four-day two-phase survey of the construction in June and again this month.

In a press release last night, the organisation said work in the Rs 5,185-crore project should be initiated on a war footing by deploying a multi task force employing technologists to tide over the geological problems confronting the project in the monsoon.

After a meeting with the top officials of the NF Railway (construction) in Silchar, Lumding and Maligoan, a seven-member team of the group arrived at the conclusion on the impediments confronting the construction of the broad gauge track between Silchar and Lumding, which will also open up the links to Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur.

Ajoy Roy, the leader of the fact-finding team of the group, said senior NFR officials said till now, 80 per cent work has been completed.

The officials said it was facing difficulty in laying a 29.57km diversion line between Ditakcherra and Haflong, because of landslides during monsoon and some other intractable geological problems. The chief administrative officer of the NFR (construction), Ajit Pandit, told the team the railway would be able to circumvent this geological problem very soon.

From October, the railway will lay 52kg track slabs and then commission the signalling system during which trains on medium gauge lines would be put on hold for at least six months.