FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
SILCHAR, Nov 19: The iugural ceremony of flagging off the first Silchar-Lumding passenger train on the newly laid BG track will be held on Silchar railway station on Saturday. The passenger train service which was supposed to be flagged off from Guwahati railway station will now be flagged off from Silchar railway station after a decision taken by the railway ministry on insistence of BJP leaders of the state, particularly the leaders of Barak Valley.
Manoj Sinha, Union Minister of State (Railways), will officially flag off the special passenger train from the station at 1 pm on Saturday in presence of Sarbanda Sonowal, Union Minister of State-Independent Charge for Sports and Youth Affairs, along with other delegates. It was informed in a press-meet by the members of the BJP Cachar district unit in their party office in itkhola area of the town here today. Dilip Kumar Paul, MLA Silchar, said that after a long wait of 19 years, the people of the valley are going to avail themselves with the facility of passenger train services on the BG route. He credited rendra Modi for the successful completion of the project.
Dilip Kumar Paul further informed that Manoj Sinha and Sarbanda Sonowal will reach Silchar on Saturday morning. They will also attend a public-conference at the station premises. It should be mentioned here that the Railway Board of India gave its nod to start the much awaited passenger train services on the newly laid Lumding-Silchar BG route after much deliberations regarding passenger safety.
Kaushik Rai, president of BJP Cachar district unit, said that Kabindra Purkayastha, former union minister, and Dr. Rajdeep Roy, BJP State spokesperson, held discussions with Sinha and urged upon him to reconsider the venue to flag off the train from Silchar. The leaders of Cachar BJP on behalf of the people of Barak Valley expressed their gratefulness to railway authorities for responding to the appeal. It should be mentioned here that the project was launched during the tenure of the then Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda who laid its foundation in presence of Ram Vilas Paswan, the then Union Minister of Railways, way back in April, 1996.
But, the project did not take off as envisaged due to lack of foresight on part of railway authorities and ministers and has dragged on for years.
Kaushik Rai further criticized Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for his recent statements on the issue. He said that it is a project meant for the people of the state, not any particular political party or leader. He strongly criticized the Tarun Gogoi led Congress state government for its indifference towards the issue for so many years.
The BJP leaders further demanded that the Railways must operate a train med as ‘The Bhasha Shaheed Express’ in Silchar-Howrah-New Delhi route as a mark of respect and tribute to the eleven language martyrs who laid down their lives in the station premises during the Language Movement of 1961. Besides, railway authorities must start two rains, Cachar Express and Barak Valley Express, in the Silchar-Guwahati route on a daily basis. This remote region must be connected with other places of the country by the rail route.