Although Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has been able to made headways to all the Northeastern states with rail connectivity; Sikkim is still left out of the Indian Railway map. Work for providing rail connectivity was sanctioned for Sikkim way back in the year 2008-09, the work could not make much headway due to various environment related issues as the proposed railway line will pass through the Mahananda wildlife sanctuary.
- 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: Northeast Frontier Railway- Social Media Update