Rail services, grain supplies to Northeast snapped

May 20th, 2008 - 7:06 pm ICT by admin  

Agartala, May 20 (IANS) Three north-eastern states of Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur, and parts of Assam have remained cut off from the rest of the country after the Northeast Frontier (NF) Railway nine days ago suspended all trains that pass through southern Assam and Tripura, officials said Tuesday. The NF Railway suspended all night trains that pass through Assam’s North Cachar Hills district from May 12 after militants killed 13 workers and kidnapped an engineer.

Construction firms stopped work and an estimated 3,500 workers engaged by 16 private firms for laying new tracks and broad gauge conversion work in the region withdrew following fear of fresh militant attacks.

“Before the monsoon, creation of buffer stocks of food is extremely urgent and rail is the main mode of transportation of food grain to Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram and Barrak Valley region of Assam,” said Tripura Food and Transport Minister Manik Dey said.

He said the Tripura government has urged the central government and the Assam government to take appropriate measures to resume at the earliest the rail services and construction works in this mountainous region.

A large number of food-laden rail wagons are stranded in the Badarpur area of southern Assam after the NF Railway suspended May 12 the railway services to the region.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) supplies 50,000 tonnes of food grain to this region every month.

“Without railway service, it is very difficult to supply food to Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and Barrak Valley areas of Assam, and we are worried over the prevailing situation,” said M.K. Gogoi, a senior official of FCI.

He said: “We would take certain steps to supply food to this region if the rail services were not restored by May 24.”

“Speed of work for laying of new tracks up to Agartala has come down and it has been informed to the railway ministry,” said S.S. Meena, deputy chief engineer of the NF Railway looking after railway projects in Tripura.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |