Students' body demands speedy implementation of broad gauge

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Silchar, Mar 23 (UNI) All Cachar Karimganj Hailakandi Students' Association (ACKHSA), the apex students' body in Barak Valley areas of Assam, today demanded speedy and timely implementation of 221-km Lumding-Silchar broad gauge project.

Addressing media persons here, ACKHSA president Rupam Nandi Purkayasthya lambasted the ''government's failure'' to provide adequate security for men engaged in construction of the Rs 1,558 crore mega project.

He said a mass convention has been organized here on April 6 and a detailed programme of mass agitation would be announced from the meeting. A number of social organisations have been invited to join the convention, he said.

The broad gauge conversion project is the target of North Cachar Hills-based Dima Halam Daoga (DHD) militants and atleast 13 railway personnel were killed by the ultras since 2006.

The ACKHSA president said earlier the progress of the project was marred due to fund crunch, but after the Prime Minister announced it as a national project in 2004, fund is available now. But the project is now suffering from lack of security, leading to delay in implementation of the same, he said.

Begun in 1996, the Rs 1,558 crore project cannot be completed in the stipulated year of 2009, Mr Nandi alleged.

Sources said the state government has already decided to engage 2,000 ex-servicemen for security of the project and the process of recruitment of the personnel is on.

UNI XC ADG RP KN1716

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