Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, has recently visited to the North-eastern state of Sikkim.
During his visit to the state, the Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw inspected bridges, tunnels, and station yards of the railway connectivity project between Sivok – Rangpo to connect the state of Sikkim with rest of the country, along with senior railway officials. The Minister reviewed the progress of the work and urged the officials to complete the work at the earliest.
While interacting with media personnel, the Minister said that the Central Government has already emphasized on the development of the communication system in Northeast India. There are so many connectivity projects in the NE region and all are progressing well. Earlier, average yearly allocation for railways used to be about Rs. 2000 crore till 2014 in North-eastern states. Now, yearly allocation has been given to Rs. 10,000 crore by increasing it five times in recently announced budget, the Minister informed. The Minister also announced that prestigious Vande Bharat train will reach Rangpo in Sikkim by December, 2024.
The Minister said that the rail link project between Sivok and Rangpo is being executed very carefully as there are several bridges and tunnelling works in this tough terrain of the Himalayan region; but good progress is being made. The Minister stated that Indian Railways will extend the Sivok- Rangpo rail link project first to Gangtok and then upto Nathula located at Indo-China border. As the project is of strategic importance with future connectivity and vital in meeting the defence requirement, the railways will do this work for better communication and to further strengthen the security of the country.
This new rail link project connecting Sevoke (West Bengal) and Rangpo is one of the prestigious ongoing National Projects in India and on completion of this project, first time the State of Sikkim will be connected via railways and will provide reliable and comfortable communication infrastructure to the region. At present all the activities related to construction of tunnels, bridges and station yards are going on war footing basis to complete the project at the earliest.
In addition, the Minister of Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology also released special cover of Department of Posts, ‘Go Green, Go Organic’ for Sikkim state at an event to celebrate the recognition of Sikkim by World Book of Records (London) for being the first state in the world to be declared an Organic state. The Department of Posts has been instrumental in promoting the country’s culture and heritage through its special covers. Minister also interacted with villagers of Lachung village as part of Vibrant Villages initiative. He also interacted with school children of this village.