In a recent letter to Union minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of State for External Affairs and Education Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh expressed his appreciation for the recent Budget outlay of 2.40 lakh crore rupees for railways, and thanked the ministry for its efforts in developing 59 Rail Stations with international amenities and facilities.
However, Dr. Ranjan also raised concerns regarding the North-Eastern region during the discussion on the DFG of Railways, but due to the continuous lockjam in the House, he had to resort to writing a letter.
Dr. Ranjan highlighted the need for setting up of a railway coach factory in the NE, and reminded the ministry of Mamata Banerjee's announcement in the Parliament during her tenure as railway minister to set up a coach factory at Imphal. He stressed that it is the right time to set up a railway coach factory in the north east, and that Manipur is the perfect location to cater to the needs of the South East Asian countries.
The MoS also mentioned that a Railway recruitment cell has been opened at Imphal since 2020, and that the Agartala to Akhaura and Araria to Galgalia will establish brisk commercial links with Bangladesh. Moreover, Imphal-Moreh-Mandalay line, though futuristic, will play a great role in connecting with ASEAN countries.
Dr. Ranjan urged the ministry to connect Imphal by 2024 as promised, and informed that 92 percent work progress has been completed in the Imphal – Jiri Railway line. He stressed that once the railway line is completed, it will be a boon for future prosperity of the region and of the country at large. The minister further stated that once the Indian Railways are linked with the rail network of ASEAN country, scope for trade and commerce shall be expanded like anything. This will help the north east in becoming a growth engine of the country as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
Dr. Ranjan requested the railway minister to start a Centre for Geological Study for the entire NE region under Manipur University. This will help in the construction, upgradation and expansion of railways. Beside this, he urges the minister to add the word “Awapalli” in the name of Kamaranga Railway Station in Barak Valley in Assam.
In his letter, Dr. Ranjan expressed hope that the north east will get its share of the 400 new generations Vande Bharat trains that will be manufactured in three years, and the 100 PM Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals for multi model logistics facilities that will be developed.
Dr. Ranjan's letter commends the ministry for its efforts and highlights the importance of the North-Eastern region in the development of the Indian Railways network.
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