Fri, Oct 28, 2016 | updated 01:52 PM IST

Indian Railways gears up for expansion plans in northeast

Updated: Aug 04, 2016 12:55 IST

Agartala (Tripura), Imphal (Manipur)/Dimapur (Nagaland) Aug.4 (ANI): Indian Railways has announced mega expansion plans to improve connectivity and infrastructure in other northeastern states apart from Tripura. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu recently launched two different projects in Manipur and Nagaland.

Prabhu recently laid the foundation stone of the Imphal Railway station in the presence of Manipur Chief Minister Ikrom Ibobi Singh.

Prabhu also announced the commencement of works on the country's longest tunnel on the Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway line in Manipur. The Railway Board has sanctioned Rs 1,397 crores for the project.

The Union minister also stressed upon the Trans-Asia Railway Network connectivity through this initiative. It will open new gateway for trade and better connectivity.

Prabhu said, "This is a part of Trans-Asian Railway Network that we are trying to develop. As you know, this is India's part of signatory on overall agreement for the development of Trans-Asian railway network. Once we bring it as to the border of Myanmar, then we will get connected to South-East Asia. There is already been connectivity between South East Asia and East Asia. So, will actually connect completely and if you real look at it, this also helps us to connect to central Asia in an over period of time. So, Asia will become one continent through connectivity. ASEAN, a UN body is also working on the overall connectivity of the entire Asian continent."

Manipur Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh said, "Today, while Suresh Prabhuji is attending the function here for laying foundation of Imphal Rail station and longest Indian railway tunnel, I would also like to request to extend railway link from Imphal to Moreh as a gift to the people of Manipur. And I think that if it is not extended from Imphal to Moreh, the International border town of Moreh, our honorable PM's dream for achieving 'Act East Policy' will not be able to fulfill."

Prabhu also laid a foundation stone of Dhansiri (Dimapur)-Zubza broad gauge line at the Dimapur railway station.

The new development will fulfill the long-cherished dream of the locals by connecting Kohima to Delhi.

Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang said, "The present PM is very keen to implement all the projects, which is concerning the connectivity towards South East Asian countries. So, this is one of the important points where we can implement the 'Act east policy' project. Finally, I appealed to the people of Nagaland, specially the land owners, along with the new railway line to cooperate with state government, NE frontal railway, railway board and also assist and facilitate the contractors and their work."

Improving rail and road connectivity will bring an economic change in the Northeast and will boost connectivity towards the mainland India as well as South-East Asia.(ANI)