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Guage conversion project in Assam

Our Bureau

GUWAHATI, May 23

THE Union Railway Minister, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, laid the foundation for the gauge conversion project of New Jalpaiguri-Siliguri-New Bongaigaon metre-gauge section at a function here at New Jalpaiguri station. Under the project, 280 kms of metre-gauge tr ack would be converted into broad-gauge at a cost of Rs. 516 crores.

This project was sanctioned in 1997-98. As a part of the project, metre-gauge tracks between Alipurduar-Banarhat (76 kms) and Fakiragram-Dhubri (61 kms) sections would also be converted into broad gauge.

Later, at the same site, she flagged off the inaugural run of the diesel engine hauled train on the Darjeeling-Himalayan narrow-gauge section. A pair of diesel engine-hauled trains between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling has been introduced in view of the changing need of time. It would reduce the journey time between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling by about 2 hours and also would increase the hauling capacity of the eco-friendly journey.

The Minister laid the foundation of the New Moinaguri-Jogighopa new railway line at another function held at New Moinaguri on the same day.

The proposal for the new railway line was included in the budget. This new line will serve a large area of North-Bengal and Assam providing an alternative railway route between West Bengal and Assam.

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