North East railway project linking Myanmar border to be revived soontext_fields
Guwahati/Aizawl: According to officials, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) will connect the border with Myanmar via train, passing through Manipur and Mizoram.
While the 111 km Imphal-Moreh (along the Myanmar border) section's final location study is already in progress, a senior NFR official stated that the company would build a broad gauge line from Sairang, close to Aizawl, to Hmawngbuchhuah in Mizoram's Lawngtlai district, close to the Myanmar border.
Due to "economic non-viability," the 223-km Sairang-Hmawngbuchhuah railway project has previously been shelved.
Mizoram's lone Lok Sabha member C. Lalrosanga, who has been demanding to revive the railway project, held a meeting with the officials of the NFR at Guwahati on Friday and the railway officials confirmed to the MP about the revival of the vital project.
A senior NFR official said that even though the proposed railway line from Sairang to Hmawngbuchhuah is "economically not feasible", the project would be revived as it is strategically important to connect northeast India with the under construction Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project in Myanmar under the Act East Policy.
According to a preliminary survey, the estimated cost of the proposed Sairang-Hmawngbuchhuah railway project is Rs 15,000 crore.
The NFR is currently executing a 51.38 km long broad gauge railway line project between Bairabi (near the Assam border) and Sairang at an estimated cost of Rs 6,527 crore.
Sairang is about 20 km from Mizoram's capital Aizawl, IANS reported.
The construction of the Bairabi-Sairang broad-gauge railway line was started in 2015 and is expected to be completed by March 2023.
Meanwhile, the NFR official said that the final location survey up to Moreh along the India-Myanmar border is expected to be completed soon, following which, the budget estimate would be finalised.
The commercial capital of Manipur and India's gateway to South-East Asia, Moreh is a rapidly developing trade point in India on the border with Myanmar, with the city of Tamu on the other side of the border.
The India-Myanmar Friendship Bridge in Moreh connects India to Kalewa in Myanmar's Sagaing Division.
According to the railway official, the proposed new broad gauge line, once constructed, would be of strategic importance and form an important part of the proposed Trans-Asian Railway which would connect India with South East Asia on a rail network.