GUWAHATI, Sept 12 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain today jointly laid the foundation stone of the project for doubling of railway line in the Hojai-Lumding section at a public function held at Hojai.
Legislators Shiladitya Dev (Hojai), Shibu Misra (Lumding), Rupak Sarma (Nagaon), Pijush Hazarika (Jagiroad), Dimbeswar Das (Raha), Ashok Sharma (Nalbari) and Kamal Sing Narzary (Bijni), senior civil administration officials, senior NF Railway officials led by General Manager of NF Railway Construction Organisation HK Jaggi, among others were present during the event.
Addressing the gathering, Sonowal lauded the effort of the Minister of State for Railways for developing railway infrastructure in the region and thanked him for the initiatives.
The Chief Minister said Assam had been lacking in development and many of the demands of the State remained unfulfilled. He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu for paying special attention to the region and hoped that the Railways will act as the growth engine for the region.
While calling upon the people of the State to extend all cooperation to the Railways for realisation of the rail projects in the region, Sonowal assured that the State Government will extend all possible help to the Railways.
He also stressed on maintaining cleanliness in railway stations and all residential areas and called upon the citizens to actively participate in the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Speaking on the occasion, Gohain said that lack of double lines has been a critical bottleneck in Assam for punctual movement of trains and the project of doubling of railway line from Hojai to Lumding (44.92 km) will create additional carrying capacity for the Railways and improve punctuality of trains.
He said that similar sanctioned works of doubling in other sections would be started simultaneously so that the time consumed to complete these projects can be minimised.
Gohain announced that doubling of railway tracks from Bongaigaon to Guwahati via Goalpara and Digaru to Hojai would start in October and it would be his endeavour to invite Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu for the foundation stone laying ceremony of those projects. He said that these projects are expected to be completed within three years.
Gohain said that the electrification of railway tracks from New Jalpaiguri to Guwahati at a cost of about Rs 650 crore, which was sanctioned in 2008, would also start very soon. He also said that surveys are being undertaken for extending double line to upper Assam.
The minister said that Hojai railway station would be rebuilt as a modern station.