Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s thrust on ‘Act East Policy’ has led to faster work on infrastructure development projects in Northeast India, including extension of railway lines, minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain said in Agartala on Friday.
“Due to Modi’s ‘Act East Policy’, the projects relating to infrastructure development of Northeast India are being implemented on priority basis. The projects include roads and railways,” Gohain said after flagging off the ‘Humsafar Express’ train from Agartala to Bengaluru.
“By 2020 all the remaining state capitals would be linked by broad gauge railway line,” he said.
The capitals of Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam are already connected by broad gauge railway lines. Works for extension of railway lines in Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland are going on with top priority basis, while in Sikkim and Meghalaya, some land related problems have become a hurdle.
Tripura’s capital on Friday was linked with Bengaluru by ‘Humsafar Express’, becoming the second city in the Northeast to get a newly introduced train, equipped with modern facilities. The train – earlier running between Kamakhya and Bengaluru – is now being extended to Agartala.
Friday’s event was a formal inaugural and services for the public will start on January 9. The weekly train will link the two state capitals via Kamakhya, Howrah, Cuttack and Vijayawada.
The railway authorities since 2016 are operating the Kanchanjunga Express – between Agartala and Sealdah (Kolkata) via Assam’s Silchar and Guwahati, and the weekly Tripura Sundari Express between Agartala and Delhi’s Anand Vihar station besides Rajdhani Express.
The NFR is now extending the railway lines up to southern Tripura’s border town Sabroom, 135 km south of Agartala.