Union Railways Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, who arrived in Aizawl this morning on a special flight from Guwahati, laid the Foundation Stone of Sairang Railway Station at a function organised in the vicinity of the proposed station area in the presence of Governor of Mizoram, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma and Chief Minister of Mizoram Shri Lal Thanhawla. Shri Rajen Gohain Union Minister of State for Railways; Lok Sabha MP Shri C.L. Ruala; Transport Minister, Government of Mizoram Pu John Rotluangliana and other Ministers – Pu PC Lalthanliana and Dr. BD Chakma; Parliamentary Secretary Pu TT Zothansanga and Deputy Chief Whip Pu R.L. Pianmawia, senior officers of the State Government, officials of the Northeastern Frontier Railways and a large gathering of the people of Sairang were also present on the momentous occasion.
Speaking at the function, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Nirbhay Sharma pointed that the limited connectivity of Mizoram has been the main reason for the state to remain an outpost and due to this, it is punching well below its weight, he added. He emphasised on the need to open up the state in all directions using all means of connectivity and applauded the ongoing railway project of national importance connecting Mizoram to the rest of the country. He remarked that lateral connectivity to neighbouring countries is vital for the country and eastward and westward connectivity via Mizoram must be enhanced. He said it would be in the interest of all stakeholders if the railway line continues beyond Sairang to the southern part of the state and ultimately to the wider neighbourhood ofSouth East Asia. Commenting on land acquisition for developmental projects, he said where land acquisition has been a problem in most states, in Mizoram the public has been very positive and forth coming on this matter. He further said that Sairang would be the logistical node of Mizoram and requested the Railways Minister to provide special dispensations to the surrounding areas such as a hospital and a central school.
Chief Minister Shri Lal Thanhawla said that for a land locked state like Mizoram, this project and today’s laying of the foundation stone for Sairang Railway Station, which is just 20 kilometres from the capital Aizawl is a proud and momentous occasion for the people of Mizoram and its history. He further said that this project would remove Mizoram’s isolation, open up better integration of the state with the rest of the country and would provide a boost to the economy of the state bringing in more socio-economic development of Mizoram and its people. He also spoke on the need to take the railway line beyond Sairang till Hmawngbuhchhuah and then connect it with the Kaladan Multi Modal Project. He took this occasion to thank Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for providing support to enhance connectivity for the Kaladan Project on theMyanmarside to the Myanmarese government and praised the bold effort of the Prime Minister in demonetizing 500 and 1000 rupee notes, which he said would help check rampant corruption and put a lid on black economy.
Union Minister for Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu pointed to the strategic location and importance of Mizoram and said improving connectivity to Mizoram is critical. He expressed his admiration for the hard working and happy nature of the people of the state and for the peaceful conditions of the state. He said these things along with human capital are recipes for development and the only thing needed is infrastructure, developing and enhancing infrastructure in all North Eastern States is accorded top priority by the Government, he added. Talking about Prime Minister’s vision for the North Eastern states he said North Eastern states which had been neglected in the past, are now being giving all the attention so that the region can be the most sought out regions in the country and that the region is now, not thought of as a transit route but rather as a destination, he added. He said that he would direct railway officials to design railway stations in the region, in future keeping in mind the local ethos of the place so that it reflects the iconic heritage and the ecology of the area. Touching on the abundant bamboo resources of the state he stressed on the need to create value addition on bamboo and asked the railway officials to explore the possibility of using more bamboo products, which he said would create more demand for bamboo products and in the process the Indian Railways would not only be an engine for growth but for also a catalyst for social transformation and economic empowerment. On a lighter note, he expressed admiration for the right balance of life in the Mizo way of living and their attachment to music and said this can be emulated by other societies in the country towards personal happiness.
Minister of State for Railways Shri Rajen Gohain spoke of the government’s commitment in connecting all capital cities of North Eastern states by 2020 and expressed satisfaction on the progress of work on the railway project in Mizoram despite the difficult terrain and the prolonged monsoon. He said on completion of the project the railways would provide the much needed all weather transport link to the people of Mizoram. Transport Minister, Government of Mizoram Shri John Rotluangliana who also spoke on the occasion said the people of Mizoram are eagerly waiting for the completion of the project. Lok Sabha MP Shri CL Ruala remarked that the foundation stone laying of Sairang Railway Station was a proud moment for the people of Mizoram.
The Indian Railways project of the Broad gauge railway line from Bairabi in Kolasib District, bordering Assam to Sairang (20 kms from the capital Aizawl) in Aizawl District has been declared as a project of national importance. Work on the 50.38 kilometres Broad Gauge railway line connecting Bairabi to Sairang is making good headway and is slated for completion in March 2019. The sanctioned cost of the project is Rs. 2384.34 crores. This railway line which passes through difficult terrain, dense forests and deep gorges will have 23 tunnels, totalling a length of 9.175 kilometres, the longest being 1.176 kilometres; 38 major bridges, 6 tall bridges and 98 minor bridges, the tallest bridge will have a pier height of 117 metres. The other stations on route to Sairang Railway Station are Bairabi, Hortoki, Kawnpui and Mualkhang.
Bairabi was connected to the broad gauge railway map of the country earlier this year and regular train service, both passenger and goods have since started.
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