Rail Project Runs Into Multiple Obstacles, Works Face Suspension, Meeting 2014 Deadline Looks Remote

One of the tunnels drilled for the rail track. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, Jul 1: In addition to the problem of land dispute, deplorable condition of National Highway-53 from Imphal to Jiribam has impeded the ongoing construction work of laying the rail track from Jiribam to Tupul, which is set to be completed by 2014.

A joint official team which included Director of Transport Department BK Sharma, which is the nodal State Department in the project of laying the rail line from Jiribam to Tupul and Deputy General Manager (Ports & Waterways Division) of Rail India Technical Evaluation Services (RITES) AN Mishra inspected the ongoing work of laying the rail track apart from surveying the feasibility of deploying mechanized vessels through development of inland water- way routes along Barak river.

On the sideline of the survey, Transport Director BK Sharma and accompanying officials of the Department also visited Noney to get a firsthand account of the progress of the construction work on the Imphal-Jiribam road stretch of the National Highway 53 as well as drilling of the railway tunnels there.

Officials who were manning the work site at Noney informed that construction work would remain suspended  for the next couple of days as landslides along the approach road following heavy rainfall has made it impossible for the machines to be moved to the work site.

The officials pointed out that the work could be resumed only after clearance of the landslides.

It may be noted here that drilling work on tunnel number 24 and 25 is currently being taken up in Noney.

The official team of the Transport Department also visited Khongshang where railway track is being constructed and interacted with the workers and other officials. During the interaction, an official of TCL conveyed that not much progress could be made in laying the railway track as the condition of NH-53 stretch is bad and the land dispute in Langkhong area is yet to be resolved.

The existing land dispute and deplorable condition of the road have given the most crippling impact in the construction of the railway line, the TCL official reiterated, and expressed desire to the Director for the State Government to pay attention in this regard.

The distance to be covered in the first phase of the railway project to be taken up from Jiribam to Tupul is 80 kms. Out of this, 36.6 kms are tunnels. At present, drilling of these tunnels are being carried out.

After inspection of the rail project, the joint official team proceeded to Barak River to conduct survey on feasibility of developing Inland waterway routes through deployment of mechanized vessels along Barak River.

After the survey, Deputy General Manager of RITES AN Mishra expressed confidence that inland waterway routes could be successfully developed along Barak River.

Suggesting that necessary DPRs should be prepared and submitted at the earliest possible, the RITES official observed that the project should be implemented in due consideration of the benefits to be ensured to the people living in remote areas.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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