Train services yet to be restored in northeast

June 10th, 2012 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Silchar/Agartala, June 10 (IANS) Train services between the northeastern states of Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram, as also southern Assam and the rest of India are yet to be restored even after 10 days of disruption following landslides, officials said Sunday.

Railway services were suspended in the region June 1 following heavy landslides and damage to tracks due to torrential rains between Harangajao-Mailongdisa stations in southern Assam’s Dima Hasao district.

“We are trying to resume both passenger and goods train services between Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram and southern Assam and the rest of India within the next three days,” an official of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) told reporters at Silchar.

He said: “Engineers and railway workers led by senior officials of NFR’s Lumding division are working round-the-clock to clear the debris at many places in southern Assam’s Dima Hasao district. Huge mudslides covering more than 150 metres of rail track have been cleared.”

“An engine and four bogies of a goods train were derailed late Saturday night when the loaded train was running on a trial basis through the renovated railway track. Additional workers were deployed to regularise the rail services,” the official said.

The metre gauge railway line from Guwahati passes through Dima Hasao district (formerly North Cachar Hills district) connecting landlocked Tripura’s capital Agartala and parts of Manipur and Mizoram with the rest of India.

Senior NFR official are camping in the area, 300 km south of Guwahati, to supervise the restoration works.

“The work to fully repair the tracks is on,” the railway official said, adding that to urgently meet the food and fuel demand in the region, the NFR was trying to run goods trains.

The Tripura government has asked NFR authorities to work round-the-clock to clear the debris and normalise railway services at the earliest. It has also requested the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to build a buffer stock of rice and other essential commodities for the state within the next fortnight, before the monsoon rain intensifies in the region.

“Tripura Food and Civil Supplies department has in separate letters requested the FCI and the union ministry of food and civil supplies to ensure immediate stocks of essentials, specially rice,” an official of the Tripura government told IANS.

In June-July 2010, the vital route was closed to railway traffic for 34 days after a 300-metre track between Harangajao and Mailongdisa, 78 km from southern Assam’s main city Silchar, was washed away due to a heavy landslides.

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