Rail services to reach Agartala before Monsoons

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Agartala, Mar 3 (UNI) The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) today asserted that train services up to Agartala would be launched before the coming Monsoons and the track-laying work on the 66-km-long Ambassa-Agartala section was on the verge of completion.

NFR sources said senior officials, led by Chief Engineer (Construction) B Choudhury, had inspected the progress of the work yesterday and made a safety check between the Manu-Ambassa section, inaugurated in January.

''The construction work on both the big tunnels in the Atharamura range (1,856 metres) and Barmura range (1,110 metres) is almost complete and the track-laying work in the plain areas is also progressing satisfactorily,'' the officials stated.

The rail engines could run up to Agartala by May and keeping this in mind, the authorities had been speeding up the development work on all the nine stations of the section.

The railway authorities had initiated the rail line expansion on the 109-km-long section between Kumarghat and Agartala in 1997-98.

Subsequently, the NFR got approval for 110 km extension work from Agartala to Sabroom, the southern fringe subdivision, in the current Railway budget for the coming fiscal.

The extension work would take three to four years and the rail link would be broad gauge. Though conversion of rail link from Lumding to Badarpur via Silchar is going on, the pace of the work is slow, they said, adding it should be accelerated to strengthen connectivity in the state.

The estimated cost of the proposed rail link between Agartala and Sabroom is Rs 556.06 crore and the North Eastern Council (NEC), the Railways Board and the state government will supply the funds to implement the project.

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