Sikkim rail

Gangtok, Dec 29: The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is conducting the surveys of two mountain rail routes to increase teaching offerings to Nathu-la in Sikkim, senior officers stated.

Sabyasachi De, the chief public relations officer of the NFR stated that “The survey to connect Rangpo to Gangtok will be complete by March 2023 to identify the alignment and locations of probable stations. It is in the final stage. Also, the preliminary survey for the Gangtok-Nathu-la stretch will finish by April next year.”

That there is an urgency to lay railway tracks alongside those stretches changed into glaring as Anshul Gupta, the general manager of the NFR, held a meeting with Sikkim chief minister P.S. Tamang.

At the meeting, they discussed issues like land acquisition along with the probable alignment that needs to be carried out before the project starts.

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Over the past few years, and particularly after the Doklam standoff of 2017, the central government has put impetus to include Sikkim, the Himalayan state that sits on the India-China border, on the Indian railway map.

“Work is on in full swing between Sevoke (around 20km from here) and Rangpo. There is a plan to finish the work by December next year. Meanwhile, the survey reports of the stretch between Rangpo and Nathu-la via Gangtok will be prepared and submitted to the railway and defense ministries. Once the projects are approved, work will start in these two stretches,” said a railway official.

Sikkim’s capital Gangtok is 38 km away from Rangpo by road. Nathu-la, which is further north, is 53km away from Gangtok.