Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Geological survey proposed along NH 31-A before laying railway tracks

GANGTOK, November 25: The Chief Secretary TT Dorji has advised for joint survey to be taken up by Border Roads Organisation, Indian Railways and State Line Departments along the National Highway 31-A before laying the first railway line so that geological anomalies are ensured.
This step, it is learnt has been necessitated as the alignment of the railway line is proposed above the existing NH 31-A where double laning is being taken up.
The Chief Secretary’s direction came in the 19th meeting of the railway project held on November 19 here at the State Capital, which was also attended by secretaries of SNT, power, forest, land revenue, director of mines and geology, District Collector East, representatives from BRO, Army, chief engineer roads and bridges and other senior government officials.
During the meet, a detailed presentation for the first phase of the project up to Rangpo and second phase till Gangtok was made by the Deputy Chief engineer (Construction) S. Prabhu of North East Frontier Railways. It is also been learnt that the double laning of NH 31-A is even likely to begin form 2010 and work would be completely initiated by the BRO.
Mr. Dorji also advised the officials to be very careful on works particularly at Teesta valley area, which is very difficult spot with steep gradient and that the disposal of soil should be carefully looked upon.
Further, the CS suggested that related infrastructure for defence purpose should be incorporated along with the dumping area of mud to be specified and the local names not to be changed.
“For the stations at Rangpo and near Gangtok, a joint survey should be carried out expeditiously so that the required land could be earmarked on priority,” he suggested.
Officials from the State Transport Department, the nodal department of the project said that preliminary survey for the second phase connecting Rangpo to Gangtok have been completed till Bhusuk via Kopibari. “Looking at the distance covered, the Railway authorities have initially proposed to terminate the same till Chota Singtam near Saramsa Garden, officials said.
On the other hand, the State Government has urged the Railways to avail rail connectivity till Nathu-La border considering the defence presence.
The final survey of the railway, it is informed is likely to complete by December and the works of laying of lines from Sevoke to Rangpo will commence soon in a war footing process. Some changes are also expected in the projects until the final report is prepared, it is learnt.
Interestingly, the longest railway tunnel in Sikkim is likely to be of 4.6 km

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