GUWAHATI, Sept 5 - Welcoming the decision of the Railway Ministry to fast-track various projects in the region, including doubling of tracks and construction of a second rail bridge over the Brahmaputra at Saraighat, the Assam Rail Passengers� Association (ARPA) today said the new schemes should not remain mere statements but should be properly implemented and completed in a time-bound fashion.
Dipankar Sharma, secretary of ARPA, said the latest announcements address many of the long-pending demands of people of the region regarding development of railway infrastructure and expansion of the rail network. His reaction came a day after Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said that work on double-tracking will start from next week while sanction for a second rail bridge over the Brahmaputra at Saraighat is also expected soon.
Gohain had also said that another rail bridge over the Brahmaputra from Silghat to Tezpur is also under consideration, while surveys have also been approved for new routes in the Salona-Khumtai, Sivasagar-Jorhat and Tezpur-Silghat sections, among other things.
�While Gohain has said that survey is going on for a second rail bridge at Saraighat over the Brahmaputra, the NITI Aayog, in a letter to Principal Secretary (Planning and Development department) of Government of Assam dated July 11 this year, had stated that a second bridge at the spot is non-remunerative. A second railway bridge at Saraighat has been a long-pending demand. We welcome Gohain�s announcement, but will a second bridge become a reality in face of opposition from NITI Aayog?� said Sharma.
He said doubling of track in the Bongaigaon to Agyathuri via Rangiya section had been sanctioned in 2013-14 Budget and had been pending with the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs. �So, it is strange that now Gohain has said Final Location Survey is going on for the section and once this is finished, doubling on this section will also start,� Sharma said.