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Rail facelift plan for north Bengal

Chahatey Ram (left) at Alipurduar Junction station on Tuesday. 
(Anirban Choudhury)

Alipurduar: A senior railway official on Tuesday in Alipurduar said most parts of north Bengal will witness two major developments in rail infrastructure this year.

Chahatey Ram, general manager of Northeast Frontier Railway, who inspected the Alipurduar Junction station on Tuesday, said double lining of tracks between New Jalpaiguri and New Alipurduar and electrification between Malda and New Jalpaiguri would be completed by 2018.

"This year, we will finish laying the second track between NJP and New Alipurduar. Also, the work of electrification is in progress across the NFR which would finish between Malda and the NJP stretch by this year," said Ram.

Once the double lining is done, trains will move faster between New Bongaigaon and NJP, Ram said.

"The journey time will surely reduce after double lining. Also, electrification will largely help in facilitating better train movement," said the general manager.

In NFR zone, most stations are yet to get electrification.

A source in the NFR said double lining along the main route can also help in reducing the pressure in the Dooars route - Siliguri Junction to Alipurduar Junction - particularly during night hours.

In the Dooars route, several elephants have died after being hit by trains, particularly in evening and night hours. It was a longstanding demand of nature and wildlife conservationists to reduce the number of trains on the route at night.

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