GUWAHATI, June 26 - With a view to ensuring faster connectivity to various remote and hitherto inaccessible areas, Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is looking to increase the pace of commissioning of broad gauge lines in the zone.
�The pace of commissioning of broad gauge lines has increased against an average of 4.3 km per day to 7.8 km per day during the last few years. We will increase this pace to about 13 km per day in 2017-18 and 19 km per day in 2018-19,� said an official of NFR.
He said that between the 2009-14 period and 2015-16, there has been an increase of 85 per cent in the rate of commissioning of broad gauge lines in the NFR zone.
The average kilometre of broad gauge lines in the NFR region annually was 1,477 km in 2004-09 period, which went up to 1,528 km in 2009-2014. It further increased to 1,983 km in 2014-15 and to 2,828 in 2015-16.
The NFR zone covers the north-eastern states and also some parts of West Bengal and Bihar.
Officials said that along with expansion of broad gauge connectivity, efforts have also been made to augment goods traffic in the region.
�A total of 15 new terminals were opened for inward and outward loading. They include Furkating and Lakuwa in Tinsukia division, Dhemaji in Rangia division, and Amoni, Panchgram, Dharmanagar, Joraibari, Kumarghat, Banga, Jirani, Bhairobi and Jiribam in Lumding division,� said an official.
In addition, the total outlay for projects in Assam and the other north-eastern states under NFR has been increased during recent years.
The total outlay for projects stood at Rs 5,340 crore in the current 2016-17 fiscal.
�The average outlay for projects was Rs 2121.6 crore in the 2009-10 to 2013-14 period. It touched Rs 5316.3 crore during the 2014-15 to 2016-17 period. So the jump in average outlay stood at 151 per cent in 2014-16 as compared to the 2009-13 period,� said the NFR official.
The projects which have been covered by the outlay for the current fiscal include Teteliya-Byrnihat (21.50 km), Kumarghat-Agartala (109 km), the Bogibeel bridge, New Moynaguri-Jogighopa new line with gauge conversion of New Mal-Moynaguri Road and New Changrabanda-Changrabanda, Jiribam-Imphal (125 km), Byrnihat-Shillong (108.40 km), Murkongselek-Pasighat (30.61 km) and Lumding-Hojai stretch doubling (44.92 km).
NFR officials said that a total of 122 unmanned level crossings have been eliminated during the last two years in the NFR zone, including 43 in 2014-15 and 79 in 2015-16. Some of them have been converted to manned level crossing, while others have been diverted or completely closed down.