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Passengers seek Guv�s intervention

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Aug 23 - The Assam Rail Passengers� Association (ARPA) has called upon Governor PB Acharya to take a proactive stand with regard to development of railway infrastructure in the State.

ARPA general secretary Dipankar Sharma said that the Governor has been very active in raising his voice on diverse issues concerning the State and urged him to do the same with regard to matters related to railway.

�Arunachal Pradesh Governor JP Rajkhowa�s role in raising matters related to railways is noteworthy. We urge the Assam Governor to take up issues related to railway in our State. Our Governor has been very proactive in speaking about many issues and he should do the same with regard to matters like lack of rail infrastructure in the State,� Sharma said.

He added that despite repeated demands, the Assam government has repeatedly failed to raise railway-related issues with the Centre.

�Similarly, the Assam Legislative Assembly has also never discussed railway-related issues. The MPs elected from Assam also have remained mute. It is a cause of concern for all of us. We hope that the Governor will take up matters like lack of railway infrastructure, delay in completion of projects and such issues with the authorities concerned,� Sharma said.

The ARPA general secretary said that nothing has been done regarding doubling of tracks in the State despite Assam being located in a geographically isolated and geo-strategically sensitive region.

He said that track-doubling of the New Bongaigaon-Agyathuri (main line) section, sanctioned in the 2013-14 Rail Budget, has been pending with the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for long and the Governor can take it up with the Centre for its sanctioning at the earliest.

�There have been long delays in completion of ongoing projects, resulting in cost escalation, even as the government and the Railway Ministry adopt a miserly attitude in announcing new projects for Assam and the Northeast,� Sharma said.

ARPA has also come out against any attempt to privatise the Indian Railways. �There is a lot of scope for improvement in the railways even while keeping it under the government. Corporatisation will not only lead to loss of jobs for railway employees but also deprive millions of poor people from availing the public transport facility,� said Sharma.

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