NEW DELHI, May 26 - Claiming that the Indian Railways has made much progress in the North East, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said that a record 545 km of BG line was commissioned in 2015-2016.
Interacting with regional media-persons on the occasion of completion of two years in office of the NDA government, Prabhu, however, admitted that a large number of projects in the North East were pending completion. “The focus is now on completing the pending projects and we have prioritised them,” he said.
He said the average commissioning of BG line in 2009-2014 was 110 km and in 2014-2015 it was 450 km. In 2015-2016, the BG line commissioned in North East was 85 per cent in comparison to 2009-2014, Prabhu said.
The pace of commissioning of broad gauge line has increased against an average of 4.3 km per day to 7.8 km per day. “We will increase this pace to about 13 km per day in 2017-18 and 19 km per day in 2018-2019,” he declared.
As for electrification of railway tracks, Prabhu said that 1,730 km has been completed in 2015-2016. In comparison, in 2009-2014, 1,184 km of track was electrified.
As for capital investment, as compared to 2004-2009, when Rs 24,307 crore was invested, in 2015-2016 Rs 93,795 crore was invested. In 2014-2015, Rs 58,718 crore was invested in the North East, he added.
Claiming that there has been 151 per cent increase in project outlays in Assam and the northeastern States, the Railway Minister said that in the last two fiscal the outlay for projects was Rs 5,316.3 crore.
Prabhu further disclosed that at least 15 new trains have been introduced connecting North East with the rest of the country and connecting different cities within the region.
The new projects that have been sanctioned include the 176 km Bongaigaon-Goalpara-Guwahati line built at a cost of Rs 1,832 crore and the 102 km Digaru-Hojai line built at an estimated cost of Rs 870.96 crore.
Further, he said that four rail-over-bridges have been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 58.90 crore.