Sikkim CM Chamling request Centre to expedite Sevoke-Rangpo rail project

Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has requested the Centre to expedite the first ever railway project proposed for the state.

With the ambitious Sevoke-Rangpo rail project yet to take off, Mr.Chamling is said to have requested the Indian Railways to begin the project in the larger national interest. He was interacting with Railway Board Member (Traffic) D.P.Pandey at Mintokgang, his official residence, here on Monday, officials said.

Work on the proposed 55-km Sevoke-Rangpo rail line to connect the border state to the railway network is yet to begin due to forest clearance hurdles. The then railways minister Mamata Banerjee had laid the foundation stone for the project in October 2009.

Mr Pandey, meanwhile, apprised Mr Chamling of the Indian Railways’ plan to launch rail tour packages for students of Northeastern states, the officials said.

He said students could visit NE states at nominal fares, which would help promote tourism and provide a better understanding of the states among them.

The railway ministry has also shown keenness to promote all tourism fests and festivals of the region by including them in the railway tourism map.

The popular Namchi Mahotsav will be part of the project from Sikkim. Mr Pandey also told the chief minister that Sikkim’s floriculture products will be transported to major Indian cities in refrigerated coaches.