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Government to fast-track rail link to Arunachal’s strategic border region of Tawang

Survey on 11 new railway lines are in progress in Arunachal Pradesh while two other surveys have been completed.

india Updated: Jun 30, 2018 08:00 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Arunachal Pradesh,Railway Line,Tawang
The new railway line, once completed, would cut the travel time to Tawang considerably. While the existing road from Bhalukpung to Tawang is 285 km, the railway line would measure only 166 km.(HT Representative Photo)

Indian Railways is planning to construct a new railway line on priority basis to Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang district, given its strategic location close to the international border with China.

Union minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain and a team of Northeastern Frontier Railways (NFR) disclosed this on Friday during a meeting with chief minister Pema Khandu to review status of railway projects in the state.

Survey on 11 new railway lines are in progress in the state while two other surveys have been completed.

Of these, the Bhalukpung-Tenga-Tawang, Silapathar-Bame-Aalo and the Pasighat-Tezu-Parasuramkund-Rupai lines are identified by the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and are being funded by the defence ministry.

“The officials informed that NFR is taking up the Bhalukpung-Tenga-Tawang railway line on priority due to its strategic importance,” said a statement issued by Khandu’s office.

Located at an elevation of 3,048 metres above sea level, Tawang town is the headquarters of the district with the same name. It is a sacred site for Buddhists and also a popular tourist destination. Bumla Pass, which is 37 km from Tawang, marks the India-China border.

The new railway line, once completed, would cut the travel time to Tawang considerably. While the existing road from Bhalukpung to Tawang is 285 km, the railway line would measure only 166 km.

Nearly 80% of the 166 km line would through tunnels, the longest being 29.48 km. The railways have also proposed two-lane roads along all the tunnels to be built on the line, which will shorten road distance drastically.

Minister Gohain informed that once the survey is completed and formalities cleared, the Bhalukpung-Tenga-Tawang line should be ready in 6-7 years.

Appreciating the NFR for rapid progress of the surveys, Khandu asserted that the line to Tawang will become the pride of not only the Indian Railways but the entire country.

First Published: Jun 30, 2018 07:59 IST