Assam to moot railway corridor in budget

Kolkata/ Guwahati February 15: With movement of goods heavily dependent on railway network in Assam, the state has demanded a railway transport corridor along the south bank of the river Brahmaputra in the forthcoming railway budget.

In a letter to railway minister Mamata Banerjee, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi urged her to consider the demand of the railway corridor in a bid to boost economic activity in the state.

Besides, he also urged the railway minister to lay new line from Tirap to Lekhapani for efficient movement of coal from Lekhapani coal mines to feed the upcoming 740 MW Boangaigaon Thermal Power Station, being developed by NTPC in Salakati, in Kokrajhar district in Lower Assam.

Assam has also demanded a new railway line from Silghat to Tezpur with a railway bridge over Brahmaputra for strategic reasons, in addition to gauge conversion of the meter gauge stretch between Baraigram and Durlabcherra.

Gogoi asked for strengthening of railway infrastructure in the region and Assam, including laying of a new line from Salona to Kumtaiand, and Jorhat to Sivasagar.

To decongest the present railway line, double tracking of railway line stretch between New Bongaigaon and Kamakhya via Goalpara has also been demanded by Assam.

Gogoi requested Banerjee to declare these infrastructure projects as 'national projects' for ensuring smooth fund flow.

The state has also asked for decongestion of the present goods terminal at New Guwahati by expanding the freight terminal at Azara and opening up of a new terminal at Amingaon for attracting more volume of good traffic to the Changsari goods terminal.