GAURIPUR, June 10 - The construction of the broad gauge railway track from Mainaguri to Jogighopa had started way back in 2001 after a prolonged agitation for several years by the people of lower Assam, Meghalaya and North Bengal and sponsored by the Mainaguri-Jogighopa BG Railway Line Demand Committee. But it is a matter of great concern that the 267.46 km line has not been completed even after 16 years. The reasons of which are best known to the railway authority.
The Mainaguri-Jogighopa BG Railway Line Demand Committee had expressed happiness that the target of completion of the track was fixed as 2007. But from 2001 to 2007 the railway authority was able to complete only 20 per cent of the work of the project. Again the railway department fixed 2010 as the year of completion of the project but that too was not met. Till 2010, only 5 per cent of the work was reportedly completed. Again the authority directed to complete the work within the month of March, 2016 but that target was also not achieved.
At the initial stage the cost of the 267.46 km track was fixed at Rs 887 crore but it was again fixed at Rs 2,450 crore. As only 50 per cent of the work is reported to be completed, the cost of remaining work would certainly increase.
Meanwhile, the portion in North Bengal is completed and rail services also resumed two years ago but the remaining 150 km part in Assam is yet to be completed.
It is interesting to note that due to constant pressure from the political leaders of West Bengal the portion in the North Bengal area was completed within five years but the 150 km route from Gauripur to Jogighopa remains incomplete. As a result more than 1.5 crore people of Bilasipara, Salkocha, Chapar, Bahalpur, Baitamari have remained deprived of the benefits of railway service even after 70 years of Independence. The people of the State have alleged that the leaders of the Mainaguri-Jogighopa BG Railway line Demand Committee have remained mute spectators as regular trains are running in between Mainaguri and Dhubri and they have little time to voice the demands of the people of the remaining areas in Assam.