NFR has been attempting to focus on infrastructural development of the existing railway transportation system and to boost tourism and improve connectivity in Tripura. Tripura is one of the fastest growing states of North-East India and is encircled by Bangladesh in the north, south and west and the States of Assam and Mizoram in the east. Railways being the main life-line of the Indian economy, railway infrastructure are significant for the landlocked State of Tripura.
- Tripura has seen major development works in the Railway sector from 2014-22. The entire Railway network in Tripura has been converted to a broad gauge network in 2014-22 thereby eliminating all metre gauge railway lines in Tripura. To enhance connectivity, various sections like Agartala – Udaipur, Udaipur – Garjee, Garjee – Santirbazar, Belonia – Sabroom got connected by broad gauge line in Tripura.
- During the period from 2014-22, 115 km of new broad gauge lines were commissioned in Tripura. Tripura’s capital Agartala has reserved a place on India’s broad gauge map with the much awaited starting off of Agartala – Anand Vihar Tripura Sundari Express on 31stJuly 2016. First Rajdhani Express in Indian Railways with Tejas type AC sleeper coaches with latest amenities were introduced from Agartala on 15th February 2021.
- It has already completed its one year of successful running. Trains to Secunderabad and Bangalore from Agartala were also introduced, on 8th January, 2022, the first train connecting Tripura and Manipur, the Janshatabdi express train between Agartala – Jiribam via Assam was flagged off.
- Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has come to Tripura’s rescue with the Roll on – Roll Off service to carry loaded trucks loaded with fuel on flat-wagon goods trains. When severe landslides had cut off road connectivity to Tripura in the month of July – August, 2016, shortage of fuel supply by road caused a severe crisis in the state.
- Railways stepped in to run the first ever such train from Bhanga (Assam) to Churaibari in Tripura. The road connecting Tripura with Assam has been in a very bad shape, disrupting the flow of commodities to Tripura and leading to a severe crisis.This helped Tripura to overcome the problem of fuel shortage.
- The New Railway line project (15 km) cost of Rs.968 crore between Agartala in Tripura and Akhaura in Bangladesh will be completed very soon. Surveys are going on for new BG lines of 2.9 km Belonia – Chittagong to connect with Bangladesh, 45 km Pencharthal to Dharmanagar via Kailashahar and 170 km Dharmanagar to Pencharthal, Belonia via Kamalpur – Khowai to Agartala. once all these projects will be finished, the economy of the state will benefit immensely. The tourism sector will also get a big boost.
- During the period 2014-22, NFR has provided several new amenities in stations and trains from Tripura. 05 Foot Over Bridges, 128 Bio -Toilets, 20 free Wi-Fi were provided at different stations over Tripura during 2014-22. Lifts and escalators are also being constructed to provide better amenities to passengers.
- High speed LHB coaches with modern amenities were introduced in 02 trains and 120 CCTV monitoring systems were provided at 12 stations during 2014-22 for enhanced security of Railway property and passengers. Mechanized coach cleaning, heavy duty scrubber machines, and train cleaning by on Board Housekeeping Staff (OBHS) are also part of the Swachhta initiative.
- As a part of NFR’s Go-Green mission all stations in Tripura have been provided with 100% LED lights during 2014-22. Different important infrastructural & long pending works were completed during lockdown and 35 Shramik Specials trains ran over Agartala which carried about 17 thousands of migrant workers to their native state, Tripura.
Source: Northeast Frontier Railway -Press Release | Image Credit (representational): SCR