GUWAHATI, Dec 26 - The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) headquartered at Maligaon has witnessed a significant increase in the requirement of coaches in recent times.
So far this fiscal, a total of 108 coaches have been allotted to the zone and out of them, 31 coaches have been received so far.
�As part of continuous exercise to meet the requirement of coaches as replacement against shortage and to run new trains and augment the existing trains, NFR has been requesting the Railway Board from time to time.
�During the last two years, there has been a significant increase in the requirement of coaches in the entire NFR zone,� Pranav Jyoti Sharma, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of NFR, told this newspaper.
He said from April 2016 till date, a total of 45 Mail, Express, Passenger and DEMU trains were introduced by the zone, besides 70 special trains.
�Further, 105 coaches were augmented in 49 trains on permanent basis. Based upon the revised requirement, on November 27 this year, a comprehensive position for the requirement of 269 coaches was sent to the Railway Board to meet the demand of requirement of coaches.
In the 2017-18 fiscal, from April 1 to December 15, a total of 108 coaches were allotted to this zone, out of which 31 coaches were received,� Sharma said, adding that another 77 coaches are still in the stage of production.
The new coaches received by NFR have been utilised to run the newly-introduced 20501/20502 Agartala-Anand Vihar Rajdhani Express, the 12086/12085 Dibrugarh-Guwahati Shatabdi Express, the 12088/12087 Guwahati-Naharlagun Shatabdi Express, and for augmentation of the 15655/15656 Kamakhya-Katra Express.
Sharma further said, �It is also a fact that the coaches meant for NFR are running in other zones, but that is done on urgent basis to meet the special requirement for introduction of new trains, running of special trains, etc.
Similarly, 77 coaches of other zones are also running in the NFR zone to meet its urgent demand of festival specials, election specials, summer specials and trains on full tariff rate. This is a standard operating procedure.�
Around 50 pairs of long-distance trains operate between the north-eastern region and the rest of the country every week. There are other trains which operate to and from stations in Bihar and West Bengal, which come under the jurisdiction of NFR.
In addition, there are a number of local trains which operate within the NFR zone.
Further, NFR took over the charge of operation and maintenance of two of the three pairs of Dibrugarh Town-New Delhi Rajdhani Express trains. Shifting of primary maintenance of the two pairs of Rajdhani Express trains is expected to lead to additional requirement of coaches.