Centre releases Rs 47 crores for rail link in Arunachal Pradesh


Itanagar/Guwahati, November 24: In a major bid to boost rail connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh, the Centre has released Rs 47.18 crore to the Northeastern Frontier Railway (Construction) for survey work for three lines in the NE states, including the Misamari–Tawang line. The state has been long awaiting an expansion in their railways.

The development was informed by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra to Chief Secretary Satya Gopal through a letter. This discussion between the two resulted in a project of development in the Northeastern states.

Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on her visit to the state on November 4 had held a high level meeting along with a team of senior officers from the ministry, including Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijjiju, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, state Land Management Minister Nabam Rebia and other senior state government officials headed by Chief Secretary Satya Gopal.

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Sitharaman had assured release of requisite funds for conducting the survey for laying the strategic railway line from Missamari (Assam) to Tawang bordering the Tibet region of China and assured the state government that there would be no funding constraints and necessary resources would be made available for the work.

In the meantime, Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brig (Retd) BD Mishra on Thursday attended the meeting of Governors of NE states at New Delhi. The Governor emphasised on strengthening air as well as road connectivity with ASEAN countries for boosting the socio-economic development of North East region, an official release said.

The Governor also highlighted the importance and benefits of ‘Act East’ policy and better relationship with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries for the state of Arunachal Pradesh, the release said.

Connectivity in the form of road, rail, maritime as well as air links is indispensable in achieving increased cooperation in trade, investment and strengthening people-to-people contacts between nations,” he said. Referring to the Stillwell Road, which passes through the eastern district of Changlang in Arunachal Pradesh to Myanmar, the Governor said that Act East policy through the road would reinforce cross-border trade in the state.

The meeting was convened to hear views of the NE states for the India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit, which will be held on January 25 next year at New Delhi where leaders of all ten ASEAN countries are expected to attend.

Edited by: Arnab Jyoti Das