GUWAHATI, Sept 22 - The Assam Rail Passengers Association (ARPA), along with Barnagariya Samaj, Guwahati, and the Chambers of Commerce, Sorbhog, have called upon the Indian Railways to immediately start work on the doubling of the New Bongaigaon-Agyathuri section as well as for sanction of a second rail-cum-road bridge over the Brahmaputra at Saraighat.
The three associations have submitted memorandums to the general managers of the Northeast Frontier Railway (Construction Organisation) and the Northeast Frontier Railway, as well as to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in this regard.
Expressing gratitude to the Railway Board and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for clearing the track doubling project in the New Bongaigaon-Agyathuri section, the three associations said the footfall in this section is the highest in comparison to other parts of the NFR zone and line capacity utilisation is also nearing 200 per cent.
“To cope up with the increased volume of traffic and to improve train operation, the section (New Bongaigaon-Rangiya-Guwahati) should have been considered rather for tripling instead of doubling, as it is to bear the additional traffic load of the Rangiya-Murkangselek section also,” stated the memorandum.
It called upon the railway authority to start the doubling work on the ground at the earliest so that the project can be completed within the stipulated time-frame by 2022-23.
The associations added that keeping the high public demand and patronisation of existing short-distance passenger trains of the section in mind, the Guwahati-Sorbhog section should be developed as a suburban section and local train services from Sorbhog towards Guwahati, Nagaon, Dekargaon, Dhubri, Alipurduar Junction and Coochbehar, etc., should be introduced.
“Such a beautiful and employment generating transportation arrangement, i.e., suburban service, which is available in other States for long, has remained a distant dream here. Hence, a suburban terminal at Sorbhog is the need of the hour now,” stated the memorandum.
It also called upon the railway authority to seek necessary CCEA approval for the pending project of a second rail-cum-road bridge at Saraighat without delay.
The associations have also asked for developing Agyathuri as a world-class station with a big passenger terminal and added that such a project was sanctioned in 2016-17.
“It will be a boon for all of us. To decongest Guwahati and Kamakhya stations, necessary construction (at Agyathuri) should start immediately,” added the memorandum.