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Hon’ble Minister of State for Railways, Shri Rajen Gohain and Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam Shri Sarbananda Sonowal today jointly laid the foundation stone of the project for Doubling of Railway Line from Hojai to Lumding at a public function held in Hojai today. The Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly from Hojai Shri Shiladitya Dev, Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly from Lumding Shri Shibu Misra, Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly from Nagaon Shri Rupak Sarma, Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly from Jagiroad Shri Pijush Hazarika, Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly from Raha Shri Dimbeswar Das, Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly from Nalbari Shri Ashok Sharma and Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly from Bijni Shri Kamal Singh Narzary, high civil administration officials, senior N. F. Railway officials including the General Manager of N. F. Railway Construction Organization, Shri H. K. Jaggi and hosts of enthusiastic people were present at the largely attended public meeting.

Addressing the gathering the Union Minister of State for Railways, Shri Rajen Gohain said, lack of double lines has been a critical bottleneck in Assam for punctual movement of trains and the project of doubling of railway line from Hojai to Lumding (44.92 km) will create additional carrying capacity for the Railways and improve punctuality of trains. He said that similar sanctioned work of doubling of other sections should be started simultaneously so that the time consumed to complete these projects can be minimized. Shri Gohain announced that doubling of railway tracks from Bongaigaon to Guwahati via Goalpara and Digaru to Hojai would start in the month of October and it would be his endeavor to invite the Hon’ble Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu for the foundation stone laying ceremony of those projects. He said that these projects are expected to be completed within three years.

Shri Gohain said that that the electrification of railway tracks from New Jalpaiguri to Guwahati at cost of about Rs 650 crores, which was sanctioned in 2008, would also start very soon. He also said that surveys are being undertaken for extending double line to upper Assam. Amid cheers from the audience, he said that Hojai Railway station would be rebuilt as a modern station.

The Minister for Railways acknowledged the help and cooperation received from the Chief Minister of Assam Shri Sarbananda Sonowal and lauded the proactive role played by him for realization of railway projects in the state. He said, Railways needs land for developmental activities and therefore encroachment o­n railway land will be viewed very seriously.

Shri Gohain said, tourism is o­ne sector which can generate a lot of opportunities including employments for the youths of the state and the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has always laid special emphasis o­n tourism development in the northeastern region. He said, the tourism potential of the region has remained largely underutilized and therefore he has asked the Indian Railways Tourism and Catering Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) to develop a tourist circuit in consultation with the official representatives of northeastern states.

Addressing the gathering the Chief Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal lauded the efforts and dedication of the Minister of State for Railways for developing railway infrastructure in the region and thanked him for the unprecedented initiatives taken by the later in the first two months in office. He said, Assam had been lacking in development and many of the demands of the state remained unfulfilled. He thanked the Prime Minister and the Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu for paying special attention to the region and hoped that Railway will act as the growth engine for the region. He called upon the people of the state to extend all cooperation to the Railways for realization of Railway projects. Shri Sonowal also thanked Shri Gohain for soliciting views o­n Railway Developments from all Member of Parliament where Shri Sonowal was also invited and said such steps was unprecedented. He assured that the State Government will extend all possible help to the Railways. The Chief Minister stressed o­n maintaining cleanliness in railway stations and all residential areas and called upon the citizens to actively participate in Swachh Bharat Mission.

Later, the General Manager, N. F. Railway Construction, Shri H. K. Jaggi presented the dignitaries with mementos and the Chief Administrative Officer of N. F. Railway Construction, Shri Ajit Pandit offered vote of thanks.

(Pranav Jyoti Sharma)

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