The Indian Railways is on the track to make some of the highest corners of the country more accessible by trains. The Ministry of Railways has announced that it will soon be connecting Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang, which is located at a height of a whopping 10,000 feet.
This ambitious project from the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) will find rails plying right by the Indo-China border. According to the Times of India, the NFR is contemplating going ahead with the construction of three new railway lines in the region – Murkongselek in Assam to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh; Silapathar in Assam to Bane in Arunachal and Bhalukpan to Tawang, both in Arunachal.
To suss out the feasibility of this project, the NFR will begin a survey of the region starting next year. Speaking to the publication, NFR general manager (construction), HK Jaggi provided more clarity on the routes saying, “It may not follow the same route as the existing road. For example the highest point on the way to Tawang is Sela (13,700) feet. The survey will find out ways of building tracks by avoiding high-altitude zones.”
The project is currently estimated to be somewhere between Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 70,000 crore. This new initiative is part of the number of new programs announced by the government while presenting the railway budget for the year.
Image for representation. Image source: Wikimedia
Indian president Pranab Mukherjee noted that the government is more committed than ever to bringing Arunachal Pradesh into the railway maps of India. He also noted that there will be other initiatives to bolster the railways in the region that will be budgeted at Rs 10,000 crore and more.