Guwahati (GWH): The 60th National Level Railway Week Award Function-2015 was inaugurated by the Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu at Guwahati in Assam today. The Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha was specially present on the occasion. Also present on the occasion among others were Chairman, Railway Board A.K.Mital, Railway Board Members, Secretary, Railway Board, General Manager, Northeast Frontier Railway, General managers of the other Zonal railways and the Production units and other senior railway officials.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu called for a “relook” and “changes” in the Indian Railways for its smooth run in the future. “We need to relook at many things. We also need to change so that we can run successfully for the next 200-300 years,” Prabhu said here. He was speaking on the occassion of 60th Railway Week National Awards Function-2015 here. “Our society changes, country changes. When a change comes, we don’t need to worry that it will be negative. We have the potential to run the Railways efficiently. We can increase the speed and expand direction. The people of the country should take pride in Indian Railways,” the minister said. Citing example of China, he said Indian Railways should also grow in similar manner to contribute to the country’s economy. “Change shoud not happen for the sake of change. This will be dangerous. We need to introspect where change is required,” he said. Prabhu also said holding the National Awards Function in Guwahati for the first time signifies the NDA gvoernment’s thrust to improve connectivity to the North East.
On job reservations to people from the region, the minister told reporters on the sidelines of the event that the Railways would “never discriminate the North East.” “The eight states of the North East are far more important than many other states of the country,” he added. In view of Prime Minister’s special emphasis and focus on the development of the North Eastern region, the significance accorded to the development of Railway infrastructure in this region by Indian Railways and the nation’s commitment towards the welfare of north eastern people, the Ministry of Railways celebrated its most momentous National level Award Function marking 60th Railway Week this year at Guwahati which is the nerve centre of entire North East. This year’s Railways National Programme is dedicated to the North Easern Region and its people.
Development of North Eastern Region has been an article of faith for the Central Government. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always been emphasizing on the development of North Eastern States. Railway connectivity is obviously is an important factor in the development process.
Indian Railways is earnestly committed to create adequate Railway infrastructure (new lines, gauge conversions, station developments, new trains, passenger facility and amenities etc.) in North Eastern States. In view of the importance of this region, as many as 11 railway projects have been declared National Projects which receive uninterrupted funding from the Central Government. In 2014-15, more than Rs 5200 crore was provided for network expansion in NE Region. Again in 2015-16, an all time high outlay of over Rs 5300 crore has been provided for this purpose.
Recently, the PM Modi took time off from his busy schedule and went all the way to Guwahati to flag off first train on the new railway line from Dudhnai in Assam to Mendipathar in Meghalaya thereby bringing Meghalaya on country’s railway map. The Prime minister also laid the foundation stone for new railway line from Bhairabi to Sairang which will provide railway connectivity to the Aizawal, the capital of Mizoram state.
Considering the importance of this region, the Prime Minister visited this region again in February, 2015 and inaugurated a direct train connecting Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh with the National Capital. The Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu recently flagged off first Broad Gauge goods train on completion of Lumding-Silchar broad gauge (BG) line providing seamless BG rail connectivity to Assam’s Barak valley with the rest of the country.
The passenger trains on this section will be started soon after the necessary clearance from Commissioner of Railway Safety. The entire North Bank of Brahmaputra has been brought on Broad Gauge with completion of Rangiya – Murkongselek Gauge Conversion project.