Guwahati: Mizoram, one of the seven sister States of the North-East, is the southernmost landlocked State in the region, sharing domestic borders with Assam, Tripura and Manipur and international borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The Central Government has put in a lot of efforts for development of Mizoram in the past eight years. As part of the Central Government's plan to connect capitals of all capital cities of the Northeastern States by broad gauge rail link, the Northeast Frontier (NF) Railway is executing the 51.38-km-long new broad gauge railway lines project from Bhairabi to Sairang at an anticipated cost of Rs 6,527 crore to connect Aizawl (capital of Mizoram). This project has been accorded the status of 'Project of national importance'. This project includes construction of four new stations, 55 most important bridges, 87 small bridges, 11 road over bridges/road under bridges and 12.6 km of tunnel work.
The survey for two other BG Railway lines has also been completed in the State. A 43.15 km rail link between Patharkandi (Assam) to Kanhmun (Mizoram) will provide one more entry point to this State apart from the existing station of Bhairabi. The other completed survey for a new line between Sairang to Hmawngbuchhuah (266 km) has also been completed which will provide the strategic connectivity to the port over the river Kaladan in Myanmar, stated a press release.
The already existing Silchar-Bhairabi meter gauge railway system was converted to broad gauge on May 27, 2016. The Katakhal-Bhairabi gauge conversion work was also completed at a cost of Rs 509 crore. As part of the Ministry of Railways policy for 100% electrification, all routes coming up in Mizoram will also be electrified.
After the completion of all the new line projects and infrastructural development work, connectivity to and within Mizoram will get a major boost. International connectivity between India and Myanmar will also gather a new momentum. The economy of the State will get the push required for its holistic development.
Apart from these new lines, other basic infrastructures have also been augmented in Mizoram. One foot over bridge was constructed at the Bhairabi station during 2018-2019. Two road under bridges constructed during 2017-2019 and four road over bridges during 2017-21 The railway system has also been made passenger friendly by providing toilets for Divyangjan and platform shed at the Bhairabi railway station. Free high-speed Wi-Fi services have been provided at Bhairabi station during 2019-20. As a part of NFR's Go-Green mission, the Bhairabi railway station in Mizoram has been provided with 100% LED lights during 2017-18. Six Shramik Special trains arrived in Mizoram with about 8,000 stranded people from different places during the peak of COVID pandemic. One Shramik Special train also departed from Mizoram carrying stranded people. The Bhairabi station was opened for all goods traffic both outward and inward. 125 freight trains arrived in Mizoram out of which 110 with essential commodities during 2014-22.
Better rail connectivity will lead to economic development not only of the people of the Mizoram, but also for the entire North-East region.