First train trial run to Arunachal by Jan 2014

The first trial run of a train to connect Arunachal Pradesh will take place by January 2014, according to the Railway Ministry’s commitment at a meeting held here to review the status of infrastructure development in the North East.

At the meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister on Thursday, the Finance Ministry was asked by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to make available Rs.600 crore for providing rail connectivity to the North East.

The Finance Ministry will provide an additional Rs.400 crore to complete three critical rail projects before March 2014, an official release said.

The train links are Harmati-Naharlagun project to provide the first rail connectivity to Arunachal Pradesh, Dudhnoi-Mehdipathar project to connect Meghalaya and the Rangapura-North Lakhimpur gauge conversion project.

The Finance Ministry will also provide up to Rs.200 crore for two more projects — the Lunching–Silchar gauge conversion and the Bogibeel bridge, which is the longest rail-cum-road bridge on Brahmaputra.

The meeting was attended by the Finance Minister, the Civil Aviation Minister, the Railway Minister, the Minister for Road Transport and Highways, the Telecom Minister, the Minister for Power, the Minister for Development of North Eastern Region and the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. The review covered the railway, road, airport, power, and telecom projects in the region. The focus was to speed up implementation of ongoing projects and also fill in the gaps to ensure full physical and electronic connectivity to and in the North East.