Train services between southern Assam and northeastern states of Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram were partially restored on Thursday, connecting the region with the rest of India, after heavy landslides damaged rail tracks about two weeks ago, an official said.
"The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) authority has decided to resume services of one or two trains in this region. Normal services would be restored by early next week," an NFR spokesperson told reporters at Silchar in Assam.
The railway services were suspended in the region on June 1 after landslides, triggered by heavy rains, damaged tracks at several places between Harangajao and Mailongdisa railway stations in southern Assam's Dima Hasao district, around 300 km from Guwahati, Assam's main city.
"The restored tracks might not take the pressure of many trains for a few days, but we hope to restore normal services soon," the official said.
The employees of NFR's Lumding division worked round-the-clock the past two weeks to clear the debris and restored over 150 metres of rail tracks, the spokesperson said, adding that senior officials have been camping in the area to supervise the work.
However, a trial run of a goods train with four wagons failed on Saturday as it was derailed, an NFR official said.
The lone metre-gauge railway line (with track gauge of 1,000 mm) from Guwahati passes through Dima Hasao district, connecting Tripura's capital Agartala and parts of Manipur and Mizoram with the rest of India.
With the suspension of train services, supply of essential comodities and food grain has been severely hit in Tripura, Mizoram and other parts of the region, sending their prices sky high.
The Tripura government has asked NFR authorities to run additional trains to carry essential commodities and food grain to the region.
It has also requested the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to build buffer stock of rice and other commodities for the state within the next fortnight, before the monsoon intensifies in the region.
"The state food and civil supplies department has requested the FCI and the union ministry of food to help the state stock essential commodities, specially rice," an official of the Tripura government said.