New Delhi, May 26: Bijoy Krishna Handique, minister of DoNER today reviewed the progress of the `Broad `“ Gauge conversion of the Lumding `“ Silchar `“ Jiribam Railway Line` Project at a meeting in New Delhi.
Secretary, Ministry of DoNER was present in the meeting along with the representatives from the Railways.
According to an emailed statement of the ministry, the Railway authorities apprised that out of 377 kms, formation is ready for 331 kms and 110 kms of track have been completed. They also informed that 17 tunnels of length 10650 metres are under construction out of which, 4 tunnels with a length of 5650 metres are complete.
Works of the most critical bridge on Doyang River are on in full swing and will be completed by December 2012. The construction of the longest tunnel, No. 10 with a length of 3.235 kms is under progress after the works restarted from October, 2010.
The officials further stated that this tunnel is expected to be completed by December, 2013, it stated. Therefore, the whole Broad Gauge Conversion will be commissioned by that time. Land acquisition issues in certain small areas in three districts of Barak Valley are still pending with the state government. 8 Companies of Security Forces have been deployed for providing security to the construction sites.
According to the statement, Handique expressed concern that this project has taken an unusually long time of more than 15 years after the date of commencement and there has been a strong resentment among the people, particularly in the Barak Valley. He informed the railway authorities that he would review the project in September 2011 at Silchar and advised that the railways may speed up the implementation to instill confidence among the people. He also suggested that the railways may consider designating a PRO for briefing the public about the progress of the project and also seek their help in timely completion.
The cost of this project was revised to Rs.3909 crores and is identified under the category `Infrastructure in the North East` by Prime Minister`™s Office for special monitoring by Ministry of DoNER, it added.