West Bengal to Sikkim in just two hours? A new game-changing Indian Railways line is set to transform the heart of Northeast like never before! The upcoming Sivok Rangpo railway project connecting West Bengal to Sikkim promises an unimaginably breathtaking train journey, through the picturesque mountain terrains and forest reserves. The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) zone along with IRCON international Limited, has proposed to construct the 44.98 km long Sivok Rangpo railway line, which will enable travelling between Sivok in West Bengal to Rangpo in Sikkim in just two hours.
An NFR spokesperson told Financial Express Online that the total cost of sanctioning the project is Rs 4085.58 crore and the construction has already been started on route. He added that the tentative time of commissioning of this rail line project has been set as June 2021.
Indian Railways’ Sivok-Rangpo Rail Project – route, distance and other important features:
The proposed Sivok rangpo railway project will be implemented by the NFR zone along with IRCON International Limited, which was formerly Indian Railways Construction Company Limited. The proposed project has several benefits as the northeast part of the area from Sivok to Rangpo has a single road route which is not very smooth. The route mostly shuts down in monsoons due to landslides, jams and many other reasons. This makes traveling very tough over this route. However, the Sivok Rangpo rail line will come as the ultimate solution for regular passengers and tourists in this area.
Strategic Importance of Sivok Rangpo rail line:
This route connects to Sikkim which shares borders with China so it will be easier for the Indian soldiers to commute easily. It will also make travelling faster and easier for the Indian Soldiers at the nearby Nathula border.
Sivok Rangpo rail line route:
The journey will cover Sivok, Reang, Teesta Bazaar, Melli and Rangpo stations on its route. The Teesta Bazaar will be developed as an underground railway station.
The rail line spans across a total length of 44.98 kms crossing as many as 19 bridges and 14 tunnels. The tunnels on the route covers a total length 38.55 kms, with the longest tunnel covering 5270 metres and the smallest tunnel covers 538 metres. Interestingly, these tunnels cover almost 85% of the total journey.
The rail line will cut through mountains and valleys to connect Sikkim to the main Indian railway network for the very first time.
Developed as an Indian Railways ‘green’ project:
This new railway line is also a green project as it takes care of environmental concerns.The line will cross through Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Kurseong forest division, Darjeeling forest division, Kalimpong forest division and the East Sikkim forest division. However, it will not disturb the environment and wildlife as the train will run through tunnels
Big boost for tourists and passengers:
The Sivok-Rangpo rail project is largely important as it will make travelling easy and satisfying not just for the people of West Bengal and Sikkim, but also for passengers/tourists from across the country and the world. It will also be a big boost for revenue generated through tourism as the route will connect many tourist places and hill stations such as Darjeeling, Kalimpong through the railway network. This will, in turn, make traveling easier for tourists.
Improve industrial connectivity:
This line will also improve trade of industries like medicine, hydropower projects which is main revenue generation source of Sikkim
It will be very helpful for students as this project, by connecting major states and towns, will open professional and academic opportunities for students
Traveling across these routes will be made much easier, cheaper and time saving hence improving the socio-economic welfare of the region
Source: FINANCIAL EXPRESS