NEW DELHI, Dec 26 � The cost and time overruns suffered by rail projects in the north-eastern States including a few national projects came in for scrutiny, with the MPs from the region seeking the Railway Minister�s intervention.
The train services in the North-east were denounced with Members in both the Houses of Parliament seeking a specific time-frame for completion of major railway ventures including the gauge conversion and Bogibeel rail-cum-road projects.
Participating in a debate on Supplementary Demand for Grants (Railways) 2011-2012 in the Lok Sabha last week, Bijoya Chakravarty of BJP said the north-eastern region is the most neglected. Trains from Guwahati or Dibrugarh to Delhi are always running 10 hours or 12 hours late. Rail connectivity in the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram is urgently necessary, especially because these are bordering the foreign countries. Even after 12 years, the broad gauge line from Lumding to Badarpur has not yet been completed, she added.
�The work on the Rangiya-Arunachal railway line and Bogibeel bridge projects has not been completed yet. Railways are getting a lot of loan from overseas agencies. I hope that some part of the loan so received from overseas would be spent for the development of the railway network in the north-eastern region,� Chakravarty said.
In the Rajya Sabha, Birendra Prasad Baishya of AGP said, �Even after 63 years of independence, most of the State capitals of the north-eastern region, except Assam and Tripura, are not connected with railway line. We are entering 64 years of independence, but there is no railway connectivity. There is not a single electrical railway line in Assam and the north-eastern region.�
Baishya further said railway connection in the north-eastern region is not only poor but it is very pathetic. The progress of almost all the national projects announced by the Ministry of Railways is very, very slow.
�The progress of the broad gauge railway line between Lumding and Badarpur is slow and for the last several years, in the name of so-called law and order, you have not completed that project. I would request the Railway Minister to complete this project immediately,� he said.