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First Broad Gauge Trial train rolls into Agartala station

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  14 Jan 2016 12:00 AM GMT

GUWAHATI, January 13: History was made today as the first Broad gauge trial train comprising of one locomotive and six coaches rolled into Agartala station. The trial train was received at 2.30pm at Agartala station by Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways. Badal Choudhury Minister of Health and Family welfare, Revenue and PWD, Government of Tripura, Manik Dey Minister for Power, Urban Development, Rural Development(Panchayat) and Transport, Government of Tripura also graced the occasion. Shankar Prasad Dutta MP Lok Sabha from Tripura West was present as special invitee. H K Jaggi, General Mager NF Railway, A Garud, Chief Administrative Officer and other senior officers were present from the railway side.

People from all walks of life thronged the Agartala railway station to witness the historic moment of Tripura getting its first Broad gauge train. There was loud applause from the crowds as the trail train rolled in after Sinha pressed a lever to set off a sigl to receive the train. In a symbolic gesture, the Loco Pilot of the train Shanti Kumar Das, Assistant Loco Pilot Abhijeet Bhattacharjee And Guard Krish Prasad Deb were called to the dias and falicitated by Sinha.

In his speech, Manoj Sinha said that declaration of the Agartala new line project as a tiol project by Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a turning point in the long history of the project after which adequate fund flow came to be made available. The present success was attributable to the hard work and dedication of Railway engineers whose effort saw completion of six months balance work in three months and which ensured that trial train could be received well within target. The formalities of inspection by Commissioner Railway Safety would also be completed well within March and passenger trains would start plying thereafter. He also assured that by March 2017, the section up to Sabroom would be connected by BG track. He categorically stated that boosting of rail connectivity in the Northeast was an area of topmost concern for Prime Minister rendra Modi and the government remains committed to connection of all state capitals of Northeast by BG railway network within 2020.

Expressing regret in the fact that in the years after Independence railway network in the country has expanded by only 2.25 times against a 16 times increase in passenger volume and 8 times increase in goods traffic, he said that the Government is now focused on increasing investment in railways. This, he said was indicated by the decision to invest as much as 8 lakh fifty thousand crores within next five years which is much more than previously done. The benefits of this would be visible in terms of better railway services to all people. He further added that in a scerio where about 452 rail sections in India have more than 100% line capacity utilization, the government he said was working for easing the load on existing assets by rapid commissioning of doubling and new line projects. Commenting on the Agartala- Akhoura link project, he said that despite of burgeoning costs to be accrued for Land acquisition, the government is going ahead with the project which will be instrumental in further strengthening of India’s ties with Bangladesh.

He remarked that Agartala railway station is being commissioned with best passenger amenities like washable apron on every platform line, washing pit line, DEMU shed for train maintence, first of its kind automatic coach watering facility and waste water recycling facility. Along the 109km section 17 Road over bridges, and three road under bridges are also being provided for ease of passage of road traffic he said. He added that the railway will take up the work of second entry for Agartala station as demanded by the people, once the current entry gets fully commissioned. Since the track has already been built, the railway would subsequently consider train services connecting Agartala to other cities. In appreciation for the efforts of the railway engineers, the Minister announced an award of three Lakh Rupees.

On behalf of the state Government one memorandum was presented to the minister by Ministers of State Govt, citing various demands for further development of railways in the state.

In their speeches, Manik Dey and Badal Choudhury, thanked the Railways for having fulfilling the aspirations of the local people and assured of their full cooperation for smooth progress of other ongoing projects. They said the expansion of railway network would be a boon for the resource rich state and its people who could strive for development to bring the state at par with the other states. Bangladesh connectivity would also open up lo of possibilities for local trade and commerce and shorten movement to West Bengal from Tripura.

In his address, General Mager H K Jaggi appreciated the hard work put in by railway engineers who have worked despite of tough geological and climatic conditions in order to fulfill the dream of the people of Tripura. He said that other projects would also be commissioned within stipulated time. This was stated in a press release.

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