Agartala (AGTL): Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has considering the proposal of Tripura government regarding not to suspend train service between Agartala and Dharmanagar during broad gauge conversion of railway track scheduled to begin from October next.
According to report, Tripura government has asked NFR authority to convert the railway track without closing the service because operation narrow gauge had been built with the provision of expansion of line only by laying a separate track. NFR officials however, reiterated that the gauge conversion work on Agartala-Silchar section will be completed by December, 2015 and the project is progressing in line with the planning of the Railways and it would be completed as per the fresh timeframe. “If things fall in place, the ongoing work of BG conversion work from Lumding to Silchar would be completed by March, 2015”, officials said adding that NFR authority has been examining the proposal of operational track shifting work at least in Tripura part.
They however, pointed out that even if the broad gauge conversion could be done without suspending the service, all 12 stations between Agartala and Dharmanagar would need to be upgraded by elevation and setting up of Foot Bridge as well as constructing at least another platform in each of the stations. “As per the estimation of NFR, the gauge conversion will take at least three months in Tripura part but problem comes up unless broad gauge track is being erected at least up to Lumding bigger train can’t come in the state and nobody knows when conversion work will be completed up to Lumding,” state government officials stated.
They argued if NFR suspend the trains for gauge conversion in Tripura part and up to Lumding it is not completed on time, entire service will suffer because narrow gauge will be obsolete here. So, the state wanted up gradation of track has to be done keeping the existing service on track. Otherwise, passenger movement will suffer seriously because up gradation of National Highway has also been started. As a result, vehicular movement from Agartala would be disturbed and every day at least 10,000 commuters have to suffer.
Referring to the recent meeting between the state government and NFR, the target for proposed railway extension work up to Sabroom via Udaipur is still undecided.