The Union Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, Member of Lok Sabha Dr Thokchom Meinya, Member of Lok Sabha Thangso Baite, IFCD Minister Ngamthang Haokip, MLA K Sharat Singh, General Manager of NF Railway Chahatey Ram, General Manager of NF Railway Construction Organization H K Jaggi, senior Railway officials and Senior State Government officials were present at the solemn function held at the proposed site of the new railway station.
The Railway Minister also formally announced commencement of the work of the longest tunnel of Indian Railway (11.55 km long tunnel No. T 12) on the Jiribam – Tupul – Imphal new broad gauge railway line.
Speaking at the occasion, the Railway Minister said connectivity is the prime driver of development and the Railway Ministry would not spare any resources for bringing in speedy development of rail connectivity in the region.
He said that Indian Railways have taken a holistic approach towards development and the 111-km long new broad gauge railway line from Jiribam to Imphal will not only connect Imphal to the rest of the country but also open up new vistas for economic development of the region. Prabhu said, “we are proud of our cultural heritage and therefore the proposed Imphal Station had been designed incorporating the architectural elements of Kangla Fort Gate and Shri Govindji Temple – two historical monuments of Manipur.”
He said that the Union Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain would be entrusted with monitoring the progress of the projects so that they can be completed in time. Prabhu also announced the commencement of the work of tunnel No 12 and said the tunnel would not only connect two parts of Manipur by rail but would also be a symbolic representation of the State getting connected to mainland India.
Union Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain in his speech reiterated the Government’s commitment towards all-round development of the North Eastern region and assured that he would personally monitor the progress of all railway projects in the region.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, while expressing immense satisfaction and happiness for Indian Railway’s initiatives for bringing in better connectivity to the region, requested the Government to consider extending the railway line to Moreh from Imphal.
He assured all possible help including safety and security arrangements for the men and materials involved in railway projects in the State.
The 111-km long Jiribam – Tupul – Imphal new broad gauge railway project was taken up in 2008. The project was declared a National Project because of its importance. The 12.5 –km Jiribam to Dholakhal section has been completed and commissioned for freight train in March 2016. On the 84–km Jiribam – Tupul section, out of the 37 tunnels, 25 have been completed as on April 30, 2016 and the works for the rest are also progressing well.
There are two striking special features of the Jiribam – Imphal new broad gauge railway line -the first is the tallest bridge of the world being constructed over Iring river with a pier height of 141 metres (almost equal to two Qutub Minar stacked over each other) and the second is tunnel No 12 with a length of 11.55 km, which would be the longest tunnel in India. The proposed Imphal Railway Station is located in Yurembam village at about 13 kms from the centre of Imphal and just about 1.50 kms from the airport. The overall cost of construction of the Station Building will be around Rs 8.7 crore. It will include three passenger platforms and coach.