Agartala/Silchar, July 2 (IANS) Owing to enormous track damage, it would take at least a month more to restore train services between some northeastern states and the rest of India, an official said Monday.
Railway services were suspended in the region June 25 following heavy rain and landslides that damaged large stretches of railway track in southern Assam’s Dima Hasao district.
“We are trying to resume both passenger and goods train services between Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram and southern Assam and the rest of India at the earliest. As the damage to tracks, bridges and adjoining areas is colossal it would not be possible to restore railway services within a month,” an official of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) told media persons at Silchar.
“Engineers and railway workers led by senior officials of NFR’s Lumding division are working round-the-clock to clear the debris at many places in southern Assam’s Dima Hasao district. Huge mudslides covering more than 150 metres of rail track are being cleared.”
Tripura transport department secretary Kishore Ambuly told IANS: “Due to intermittent and torrential rains restoration works are getting delayed and fresh landslides are taking place in and around mountainous areas.”
The landslides at about 90 places following incessant rains, have in some places washed away or damaged nearby surface roads in Dima Hasao District about 300 km from Assam’s main city Guwahati.
Over 3,500 passengers in four trains, who were stranded for four days at three places on a single metre-gauge rail line in the region, have been rescued by railway and district administration personnel and sent onwards to their destinations.
The broad-gauge railway line from Guwahati passes through Dima Hasao district, which connects Tripura capital Agartala and parts of Manipur, Mizoram and southern Assam with the rest of India by a single metre-gauge railway track.
The suspension of train services has severely hit supply of essential commodities and food grains, sending prices soaring.
“The Tripura food and civil supplies department has in separate letters requested the Food Corporation of India and the union ministry of food and civil supplies to ensure immediate stocks of essentials, specially rice,” an official of the Tripura government told IANS.
In June-July 2010, railway traffic was disrupted for 34 days after a 300-metre track between Harangajao and Mailongdisa, 78 km from southern Assam’s main city, Silchar, was washed away by heavy landslides.
The Daily News Post India (tdnpost)