GUWAHATI, Jan 3 - The Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has taken up seven major projects at various locations falling under the zone as part of its plan to increase operational efficiency and improve services.
Official sources told The Assam Tribune that the total outlay of the seven projects is to the tune of Rs 645 crore.
“Among the projects we have taken up, one is being carried out at the Silghat Railway Station. The Silghat station will be developed into a full-fledged terminal station with provision for maintenance of trains, which will entail setting up of pit lines and sick lines, besides watering facility,” said an official.
In addition, work is also on for construction of goods circulating area and approach roads at the Senchoa and the Haibargaon Railway Stations to make them ready for handling freight.
The Railways is also planning to upgrade the Tipkai and Basbari stations in Lower Assam from ‘D’ class to ‘B’ class at an approximate cost of Rs 37 crore which will be spent on upgrading infrastructure and passenger amenities at both places.
There are plans for re-modelling of the Agartala and the Badarpur stations to make them capable of receiving two trains from opposite directions simultaneously.
“Besides, additional lines are being planned at New Guwahati, Silchar, Dharmanagar and Salchapara,” said the official.
He added, “The Gangarampur station under Katihar Division will also be upgraded from ‘D’ class to ‘B’ class. It will involve provision of new amenities for passengers. Work on major improvement to the goods circulating area and freight handling capacity of the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station will be completed soon.”
Sources added that NFR is also carrying out a survey to construct a new railway line bypassing Guwahati city to tackle the problem of line capacity constraint which is likely to arise once the ongoing doubling work in the New Bongaigaon-Kamakhya section is completed.
“We are hopeful that NFR will be able to considerably enhance its operational efficiency for providing better service in this region after completion of these projects,” said the official.
The Maligaon-headquartered zone is also planning to take up 17 additional projects worth a total of over Rs 123 crore in the months to come.
Meanwhile, NFR achieved the second rank amongst all the zones of the Indian Railways in the half-yearly performance review carried out by the Railway Board for the period from April to September 2019.
The mid-year review conducted by the Railway Board is as per the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Union Ministry of Railways and all the zonal railways for targets to be achieved by the zones in various areas, including earnings, loading, punctuality, infrastructure creation, capacity utilisation, asset maintenance and reliability, and human resource development.
Eastern Railway achieved the top slot scoring 66.74 per cent in the overall performance index, while NFR came second with 65.88 per cent score.
NFR secured 8 out of 10 points in ‘originating passenger traffic’ and it got 7.8 out of 10 in ‘originating freight loading’ parameters.
The zone secured 3.9 out of 5 in punctuality and 3.8 in safety, while in ‘new line construction’ it got 3 out of 5.
“During the first half of the current financial year, our zone renewed 53 km of track as against the target of 41 km set by the Railway Board. The zonal railway overhauled 790 passenger coaches during this period as against a target of 743 coaches. So, NFR’s overall performance was satisfactory and that has been reflected in the half-yearly rankings,” said a source.