The Ministry of Railways has been laying great emphasis on improvement in Railway infrastructure in the North-eastern region. North Eastern Region is served by Northeast Frontier Railway consisting of 8 states i.e. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya and Sikkim.
- Fast-Tracking progress for rail connectivity in Sikkim, working through the rugged terrain and inclement weather conditions, a breakthrough has been achieved in Adit (960 m) of T11 on the Sivok-Rangpo Rail Line Project.
- Out of 8 States of North Eastern Region, rail network connectivity now exists in 7 States. For Sikkim, the new line project Sivok-Rangpo (44 km) was sanctioned. The foundation stone of this project was done by the Minister of Railway, Govt. of India at Sivok (West Bengal) on 30.10.2009 & at Rangpo (in Sikkim) by the Vice President of India on the same day.
- Out of Total length of 44.96 km, 38.65 km (86%) is in tunnels, 2.24 km (5%) in Bridges and 4.79 km (9%) length in open cutting/filling of station yards. The proposed line consists of 14 tunnels with the longest tunnel of 5.30 km & the smallest tunnel covers 538 metres.
- Five stations including Sivok and Rangpo are planned on the proposed Railway Line. Four stations are proposed to be open crossing stations e.g., Sivok, Riyang, Melli & Rangpo and one underground halt station e.g. Teesta Bazar.
- This is a national project and is very important for overall development of the state of Sikkim.
- Once completed it is expected to boost connectivity of the land locked state which shares its border with three neighboring countries, viz. China, Nepal and Bhutan apart from being strategically important.
- Rail connectivity will also provide a reliable and economical transportation infrastructure.
About Sivok-Rangpo railway Project:
- Total length of the complete railway project is 44.96 kms of which 41.55 kms falls in West Bengal and 3.41 kms falls in Sikkim.
- The anticipated project cost will be around Rs. 8,900 crores of which about Rs 335.52 crores have already been utilized till last month.
- For this project, the budget allotment for 2020-21 is Rs. 607 Crores.
- IRCON International Ltd on behalf of NFR is carrying out the construction work of the project.
- There will be 14 tunnels, 5 stations (Sivoke, Riyang, Teesta Bazar, Melli and Rangpo) and 13 bridges in the section.
- The entire section is being constructed by using the latest technology so that trains can run at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour.
- There will be 38,555 mts of tunneling work involved in the entire project.
- This is more than 92% of the entire project length.
- Work is already in progress in various sections.
- However due to difficult terrain and prolonged rainy season work often gets affected.
- Moreover, the work got affected from March, 2020 to May, 2020 due to COVID 19 related restrictions.
- The likely date of completion of the Sivok-Rangpo railway project is December, 2022.
Source: MoR | Images Credit: MoR