Friday, October 30, 2009

Vice President Ansari lays foundation stone for first ever Rail line in Sikkim

Shri M. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India at the laying of the foundation stone for the new railway line from Sivok to Rangpo on 30th October 2009 at Rangpo in Sikkim. The Governor of Sikkim, Shri Balmiki Prasad Singh and the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Dr. Pawan K. Chamling are also seen.

Gangtok,Oct 30:The Vice President Mohd. Hamid Hansari has asserted that the centre is fully aware to the need to significantly upgrade road, rail and air connectivity in the entire North-East region. He was laying the foundation stone for the first ever rail line to Sikkim at Rangpo in Sikkim on Friday. Describing the project as creating an engineering history for the railways, the vice-president said it was a "significant milestone" in providing railway connectivity to the state. He said the project would be an "eye-opener" for similar projects to be developed in the entire northeast.

"The government is fully aware of the need to significantly upgrade road, rail and air connectivity in the entire northeastern region. Many initiatives have been undertaken in this regard. The Sevoke-Rangpo broad gauge line is one such," Ansari said in his address.

The Railway Minister Ms.Mamta Banerjee said that there is a plan to connect Gangtok to Darjeeling and Mirik as well. The State Governor Mr. Balmiki Prasad Singh and the Chief Minister Mr.Pawan Chamling were also present on the occasion. AIR Gangtok correspondent reports that 1340 crore rupees rail project connecting Rangpo in Sikkim to the rest of the country via Sevoke in West Bengal will be completed by 2015. The 53 kilometer long Rangpo - Sevoke rail route will have five stations, 100 small bridges, 13 tunnels including one with a length of around 2 kilometer and four manned railway crossings. The rail project will provide a much needed alternative connectivity to this land-locked mountainous border state, the national highway 31 A get disrupted by frequent landslides particularly during the monsoon.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said her ministry would ensure that the project was completed within the scheduled time frame of five years.

Assuring the people that the project would receive her "personal attention", Banerjee said the link will cover 52.7 km with 13 tunnels and 110 small and large bridges. More than 12 km of the link will run through tunnels, the longest of which is 1.814 km.

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