Agartala, Jun 9 (UNI) The Railway Ministry has announced to connect Agartala through rail lines with the rest of the country within the next one month, making it the second capital city of the Northeast after Guwahati to be connected by trains.
Northeast Frontier Railway officials said here today that the commercial run of the proposed trains would begin sometime in August, as the Railway Safety Commission had recently visited the tracks and based on their findings, issued clearance certificate to pave the way for the Centre, the railway authorities and the state government to fix the date for ceremonial proceedings.
After the trial run, a group of senior railway officials would inspect the final stage of the project and survey Tripura's readiness to receive its first passenger locomotive engine, the officials said, adding that the dry run, to be held on June 30, would be followed by an inspection by the commissioner for railway safety.
Chief engineer of the project in Tripura F S Mina said the project, on completion, would be worth Rs 800 crore, though the budgetary allocation was Rs 879 crore.
Mr Mina said about 95 per cent of track-laying work on the 68 km route between Ambassa in Dhalai district and Agartala was completed and the Railways was giving finishing touches to the tracks on a war footing.
''Tracks have been already been laid on 60 km of the 68 km line between Ambassa and Agartala but work is on on the remaining eight km, including a 1,856 metre tunnel in the Atharamura range,'' he said.
Meanwhile, the Centre also allocated funds for the railway extension project between Agartala and Sabroom, the southmost point of Tripura - only 70 km away from Chittagong port of Bangladesh. The authorities were scheduled to start work on the 110-km Agartala-Sabroom line by January next year after completion of final location survey this year.
Approximately 1,200 acres of land would be required for the Rs 813 crore project to connect Tripura's southern border town Sabroom by rail, the sources added.
UNI BB DPM SK VC1100