Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 10 August 2015 launched new train services in the Northeast after the completion of North Lakhimpur-Murkongselek and Balipara- Bhalukpong sections into broad-gauge. He launched the service through video-conferencing from New Delhi.
Prabhu described the occasion as a Golden Day in the history of Arunachal Pradesh and flagged off few train on the occasion.
Following trains were flagged off on the occasion:
• 15613/15614 Guwahati-Murkongselek Intercity Express (Daily)
• 55719/55720 Dekargaon-Bhalukpong Passenger (on newly gauge-converted Ballipara-Bhalukpong section)
• Extension of 55429/55430 Rangiya-Rangapara North Passenger upto Dekargaon with New Nos. 55721/55722.
• Extension of 55613/55614 of Dekargaon-Harmuti Passenger upto Murkongselek with new No. 55813/55814
• Increase in frequency of 15903/15904 Dibrugarh-Chandigarh Express from Weekly to Bi-weekly announced in Railway Budget 2012-13.
Commissioning of Balipara-Bhalukpong gauge conversion is the second Broad Gauge connectivity for the state. Earlier in 2015, the Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar was provided connectivity with the National Capital through a direct train.
Background of the Project
These 510 km gauge conversion project was sanctioned in 2002-03 with the budgetary outlay of 3600 crore rupees. However, the project suffered delay mainly due to funds constraints in the past.
But in 2014-15, a budgetary outlay of 713 crore rupees was provided for this line and an additional balance of 300 crore rupees was provided in 2015-16.
At present, the Union Government in Northeast India has undertaken 13 new lines, 3 gauge conversion and 4 doubling projects with the balance fund of 37000 crore rupees. These projects on completion will augment railway network by 1915 km.
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Where: From New Delhi
When: 10 August 2015