Tuesday, October 27, 2009

India plans rail link to Sikkim to counter China

Gangtok,October27: India has decided to connect Sikkim with the rest of the country through a railway line in the face of massive infrastructure development by China along the borders in the North-East.

The railways will soon start construction of a 52.7-km stretch connecting Sevoke in West Bengal to Rangpo in Sikkim.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to lay the foundation stone for the project on October 30 at Rangpo. Vice-President Hamid Ansari will also accompany her.

The railway line has been declared a national project and trains are expected to run on it by 2015-16. A survey of the stretch is underway.

The Sevoke-Rangpo link is crucial as it will put Sikkim on the country's rail map. The larger plan is to eventually connect Sikkim's capital Gangtok with the country's railway network. This will be done by extending the line till Rangpo to Gangtok.

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