The Indian Railways has planned to expand its railway network to Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang and other parts of the Northeast frontier state with an objective to strengthen the Line of Actual Control (LAC) along the India-China border by helping the Indian army push its men and equipment into the border.
The Indian Railways has already completed the final location survey, informed Anshul Gupta, General Manager of Northeast Frontier Railway (NRF), adding that the final location survey report has already been sent to a higher authority.
"First meeting of the Defence Ministry was also held and they agreed on two other projects - one is Bame-Aalo upto Mechuka and another project is Pasighat-Parshuram-Wakro. These three projects have already been approved and their survey has also been completed. Our target is to complete the Pasighat new line work by March 2025," Gupta said.
He also said that the NFR is trying to complete the work of rail connectivity to Aizawl by December this year.
"There is some delay in Imphal connectivity after the Tupul incident. We are engaging in some precautionary works and we are targeting to complete the works by December 2024. The Sikkim works will be completed by December 2024, and the train will run to Serima in Nagaland in September this year. We will complete the railway project work of Serima to Kohima by March 2024.
There is an umbrella project of border and hilly area connectivity projects worth Rs 1.20 lakh crore by aiming to connect some important towns and border areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, and Sikkim and we are working on it with the state government, different organizations, Indian army," Anshul Gupta said.
On the other hand, the NF Railway has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Railtel for the installation of a wildlife protection and disaster mitigation system called the Intrusion Detection System (IDS).
"To monitor and protect wild elephants from getting hit by trains, we have recently developed an innovative system called Intrusion Detection System (IDS). NF Railway has used AI-based software using optical fibre cable (OFC) for it. We have introduced it in the Lumding division (in between Lanka and Lumding) and the Alipurduar division (in between Hasimara to Alipurduar) and it is working successfully for the past few months. To implement this at a large scale, we have signed this MoU with Railtel by aiming to use the Railtel cable," Anshul Gupta said.