Railway reaching Tawang will be befitting reply to China: Arunachal CM
Khandu emphasized that connectivity is the only bottleneck for a state which is rich in potential.
Union Minister of State for Railways, Suresh Angadi along with officials from the Ministry and Railways called on Chief Minister Pema Khandu. During the courtesy call, both discussed on way forward to fast-track ongoing and proposed railway lines in Arunachal Pradesh.
Khandu emphasized that connectivity is the only bottleneck for a state which is rich in potential. He sought special attention of the Ministry in providing optimum railway connectivity in the state.
He said Arunachal Pradesh, especially Tawang district, is much disputed by China and railways reaching the farthest districts would be a befitting reply to the ‘claims’, while urging the Ministry to speed up the work on the Sela Tunnel paving way for the railway line to Tawang from Bhalukpong.
Talking about the Shatabdi Express, introduced between Naharlagun and Guwahati, Khandu said it is one of the most sought after travelling mediums for commuters. He, however, stressed on the need to change the departure time of the train from Naharlagun.
“On popular demand of commuters, we would request the ministry to defer the departure time from Naharlagun by about two hours. It departs at 5 am at present, which is too early for passengers from Itanagar and nearby places. It may be deferred to at least 7 am,” he urged.
He further requested fixing the rate of land compensation for railway tracks as fixed and offered to Assam, which the ministry has accepted.
The railway minister said all railway projects in the state will be fast-tracked and that no stone will be left unturned to complete them on time. On request of the state government to connect the Arunachal Express to also connect Murkongselek, Angadi informed that soon the Arunachal Express will be upgraded to a Rajdhani Express.
“Arunachal Express will become Arunachal Rajdhani Express soon. As all Rajdhani Express trains are meant to connect state capitals, it won’t be feasible right now to connect Murkongselek with the Arunachal Express,” he informed.
Angadi also informed that an arrangement has already been reached with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for ferrying its products to Gumto, where IOC has its distribution plant, through train. This, he said, will ease traffic congestion as well as ensure regular and timely supply of petroleum products to the state.
Khandu asked the departments with potentials for investment to come out with respective roadmaps with each and every detail of latest facts and figures by October 10 next.
“We have been repeating that we have immense potential for investment and development, but only in words. Nobody is exercising on how to bring in investment or actually doing any ground work,” he said while calling upon the officials to do the ground work and submit to the government all details of assets and potentials by the deadline.
Chairing a meeting here on ‘Investment and the way forward’ along with Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, Khandu was very particular on having on record all government assets, their status, their revenue generation and investment potentials, etc. He opined that unless and until all details are available with the government, it wouldn’t be possible to invite investors to the state.