Sikkim, the small state within the foothills of the Himalayas, could be a paradise for travellers. However, reaching the state is an arduous journey. The Sivok-Rangpo road remains chock most of the days, due to serious traffic. But now all you need to do is waiting for 2 years. If everything goes alright, the 44.9km Sivok-Ranngpo project will be completed by June month 2021.
According to a media report, the route can comprise fourteen tunnels, fourteen major bridges and will offer an ethereal journey to travellers. 85 percent of the entire train journey is through tunnels. Whereas the longest of those are 5.27 km, the shortest is of solely 538 m. The route can experience the forest divisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, and East Sikkim and conjointly through the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.
“The train journey from Sivok to Rangpo will be of less than 2 hours and can cross Riang, Teesta Bazaar and Melli stations. People will simply get off the train after a snug journey and rent a vehicle to take them to Gangtok or another location,” a senior official of Northeast Frontier Railway (NRF) aforementioned to the media.
In the second phase, tracks will be laid up to Gangtok, he added. The project is being enforced by NFR and IRCON International Ltd.
The project is geared toward boosting revenue generated through tourism as the route can connect many tourist places and hill stations like Darjeeling, Kalimpong, reports the media.
However, the project isn't a brand new one. It had been proclaimed in 2009. Many problems, as well as environmental clearances and land acquisition, had hindered the project.
Local residents have protested against the project because it would result in large pollution. It’s understood that the tunnels would possibly impact groundwater sources.
The route also will facilitate the movement of troops to Sikkim that shares its border with China.