GUWAHATI, June 7 � The Assam Rail Passengers� Association (ARPA) has called upon the Union Railway Ministry to strengthen the local services in Upper Assam districts, including starting two daily intercity express trains in the Ledo-Digboi-Tinsukia-Dibrugarh and Furkating-Golaghat-Jorhat-Sivasagar-Simaluguri-Moran-Dibrugarh sections.
Dipankar Sarma, general secretary of ARPA, said that there is an urgent need for fast and reliable daily passenger service connecting Dibrugarh to other main townships in Upper Assam.
�Dibrugarh is the main urban hub in Upper Assam. Thousands of people visit the place every day for medical, educational and other official and personal reasons from other places in Upper Assam and the daily intercity passenger or express services connecting the city with other urban centres in the region is long overdue,� he said.
He said that having an intercity service will allow passengers to travel on time to suit their work schedule and also provide a safe and cost-effective means of transport.
�If the trains can start from Ledo in one direction and Furkating from the other direction at around 9 am or 10 am, then the daily commuters can complete their work in Dibrugarh during official hours and return to their respective places by evening,� Sarma said.
ARPA said that unlike other parts of the country, the concept of suburban railway journey has not yet developed in Assam.
�There is immense scope for suburban passenger service in Assam and it will also reduce pressure on our major roads and highways,� Sarma said.
He said ARPA has approached the Railways many times during recent years to start the daily service to Dibrugarh.
�We expect the new Government at the Centre to respond to this long-pending demand. We hope the new trains be announced in the full-fledged Railway Budget, which is to be tabled in Parliament in July,� Sarma said.
ARPA has also called upon the newly elected MPs from Assam to take the initiative and convince the Government in this regard.
�We especially expect some proactive action from the BJP MPs who have been elected from the Jorhat and Dibrugarh Lok Sabha constituencies. In the past we have seen MPs from Assam adopting a very passive role in Parliament and we hope the new MPs elected this time will be different and will raise their collective voice for the people of the State,� he added.