GUWAHATI/AIZAWL: The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) would link Myanmar border by rail through Manipur and Mizoram, officials said on Saturday.
A senior NFR official said that while the final location survey of the 111 km Imphal-Moreh (along Myanmar border) section is already underway for the construction of a new broad gauge line, it would construct a broad gauge line from Sairang, near Aizawl, to Hmawngbuchhuah in Mizoram's Lawngtlai district, near the Myanmar border. The 223-km Sairang-Hmawngbuchhuah railway project had been abandoned earlier due to "economic non-viability".
Mizoram's lone Lok Sabha member C. Lalrosanga, who has been demanding to revive the railway project, held a meeting with the officials of the NFR at Guwahati on Friday and the railway officials confirmed to the MP about the revival of the vital project. A senior NFR official said that even though the proposed railway line from Sairang to Hmawngbuchhuah is an "economically not feasible", the project would be revived as it is strategically important to connect northeast India with the under construction Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project in Myanmar under the Act East Policy. According to a preliminary survey, the estimated cost of the proposed Sairang-Hmawngbuchhuah railway project is Rs 15,000 crore.
The NFR is currently executing a 51.38 km long broad gauge railway line project between Bairabi (near Assam border) and Sairang at an estimated cost of Rs 6,527 crore. Sairang is about 20 km from Mizoram capital Aizawl. The construction of the Bairabi-Sairang broad-gauge railway line was started in 2015 and is expected to be completed by March 2023. Meanwhile, the NFR official said that the final location survey up to Moreh along the India-Myanmar border is expected to be completed soon, following which, the budget estimate would be finalised.
The commercial capital of Manipur and India's gateway to South-East Asia, Moreh is a rapidly developing trade point in India on the border with Myanmar, with the city of Tamu on the other side of the border. The India-Myanmar Friendship Bridge in Moreh connects India to Kalewa in Myanmar's Sagaing Division. According to the railway official, the proposed new broad gauge line, once constructed, would be of strategic importance and form an important part of the proposed Trans-Asian Railway which would connect India with South East Asia on a rail network. IANS