GUWAHATI, Feb 28 - The Assam Rail Passengers� Association (ARPA) has called for immediate sanction from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for the doubling work on the New Bongaigaon-Agyathuri section and for introduction of more passenger trains via the Bogibeel Bridge.
�More than a month has passed since Railway Minister Piyush Goyal asked the NF Railway authorities to submit a report on the New Bongaigaon-Agyathuri section doubling project. Since then, we have heard nothing. The project is pending before the CCEA since a long time. It should be cleared immediately. The Election Commission will announce the schedule for the Lok Sabha polls in the next few days and once the poll announcement is made, the model code of conduct will come in place. We want the CCEA green light for the doubling work to come before the model code of conduct comes into effect,� said ARPA secretary Dipankar Sharma.
He said that the utilisation capacities of the existing lines have already reached the peak and the doubling on the New Bongaigaon-Agyathuri section was necessary to remove the bottleneck.
�Besides, it is now more than two months since the Bogibeel Bridge was inaugurated by the Prime Minister. However, only one passenger train is currently running across the bridge. People had such expectations from the bridge but the railway authorities have taken no steps to properly utilise the potential,� said Sharma.
�NFR should introduce passenger trains in the Dibrugarh-Rangapara and Tinsukia-Dhubri routes using the Bogibeel Bridge. It should also introduce trains to Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai from Upper Assam via the Bogibeel Bridge, but without affecting the existing trains operating through the South Bank route,� Sharma said.
�NFR has said its economic parameters have got a major boost since opening of the Bogibeel Bridge and it has been able to save costs and improve timings of its freight services. But that is not enough. The zone should actively think about improving passenger services as well,� he added.