By- Staff Reporter | Date- February 10, 2012
The North East Frontier Railway (NFR) should be made into a dedicated railway zone exclusively for the North Eastern states in this year’s railway budget, – demanded Assam Chief minister Tarun Gogoi.
The Chief Minister, stressing on the need for good connectivity from Assam and rest of North East as a critical aspect for the people of the region, placed the demand during his meeting with Union railway minister Dinesh Trivedi in New Delhi.
Gogoi also demanded for a new daily express train, preferably the Durnoto Express, from Guwahati to Chennai via Kolkata and from Guwahati to Mumbai to cut short the enormous time the existing trains take to travel to southern and western parts of the country. A new super-fast express train connecting Jorhat-Sivasagar-Moran-Dibrugarh was also demanded.
Other demands, all of them being long cries from the people of the region included:
- Doubling of railway track from New Bongaigaon to Guwahati via Rangiya
- Doubling of railway track from Guwahati to Tinsukia via Lumding
- Electrification of lines from Katihar in Bihar to Guwahati
- Modernization and improvement of railway stations at Guwahati, Tinsukia, Jorhat and Bongaigaon
- Railway level crossing at important unmanned locations across the state
- Setting up of an integrated freight complex at Changsari, near Guwahati.
Gogoi also wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, requesting him to consider the proposals submitted by the state and for their inclusion in the railway budget.
The Indian Railways are arguable the least developed in the North Eastern Region with majority of the states having no railway connectivity. Even the current connectivity existing in Assam are majorly single tracks which forces Trains to be kept on hold at stations mid-way for other trains to pass by, with huge inconvenience to passengers.
It is to be mentioned that the same demands have been made by the people of this region from several years. In fact this was made to former railway minister Mamta Banerjee last year, but these were not even considered in the last year’s railway budget.