Itanagar: Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi on Saturday assured Arunachal Pradesh to fast-track all railway projects in the state and that no stone will be left unturned to complete them on time.
Angadi, who was here to review various railway projects in the state, during a meeting with Chief Minister Pema Khandu, assured that his officials would immediately seek out the feasibility of deferring the departure time of the Shatabdi Express and do the adjustments promptly.
On request for increasing its frequency (it only runs thrice a week), the union minister said directives have already been given to railway officials to study the feasibility, an official communiqué informed.
On request of the state government to connect the Arunachal Express to Murkongselek, Angadi informed that soon the Arunachal Express would be upgraded to a Rajdhani Express.
“Arunachal Express will become Arunachal Rajdhani Express soon. As all Rajdhani Express trains are meant to connect state capitals, it won’t be feasible right now to connect Murkongselek with the Arunachal Express,” he informed.
Hailing Arunachal Pradesh for its natural bounty, Angadi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is giving special preference to the North East in terms of connectivity and the Railway Ministry is duty bound to reach out to states like Arunachal Pradesh.
To another request, the minister assured that all old coaches of the trains coming to Itanagar are being replaced in phased manner. He informed that all trains would soon have brand new and new-age coaches soon.
Angadi also informed that an arrangement has already been reached with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for ferrying its products to Gumto, where IOC has its distribution plant, through train.
This, he said, would ease traffic congestion as well as ensure regular and timely supply of petroleum products to the state.
Expressing gratitude to the minister for the attention given by the Center for development of railway connectivity in the frontier state, Khandu emphasized that connectivity is the only bottleneck for the otherwise potential state.
He sought special attention of the Ministry in providing optimum railway connectivity in the state.
He said Arunachal Pradesh, especially Tawang district, is much disputed by China and railways reaching the farthest districts would be a befitting reply to the ‘claims’, while urging the ministry to speed up the work on the Sela Tunnel paving way for the railway line to Tawang from Bhalukpong.
The chief minister also requested the ministry to extend the route of the Kamkhya Express at least up to Dibrugarh. He reasoned that the extension would facilitate travel by tourists, especially devotees coming to Parashuram Kund in Lohit district.
Khandu also requested the minister for fixing the rate of land compensation for railway tracks as fixed and offered to Assam, which the ministry has accepted, the communiqué added.