Itanagar, Dec 20: Railways have started Vistadome Express between Tinsukia in Assam and Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh. This is a new train service between two states.
Union Minister of State for Railways Darshana Jardosh and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma were presented during the ceremony virtually from Guwahati.
To add to the momentous occasion, another train – the Vistadome attached Naharlagun-Guwahati Shatabdi Express – was flagged off by the MoS from Guwahati.
The Naharlagun-Tinsukia Vistadome Express will run five days a week except Tuesday and Friday from Naharlagun and except Monday and Thursday from Tinsukia. Regular service of this express will commence from 21st December.
On the other hand, the Shatabdi Special with Vistadome coach will start its regular service with effect from 20th December from Naharlagun. The express will consist of four AC chair coaches, one Vistadome coach and two luggage vans. It will leave Naharlagun every Monday, Tuesday and Friday.
Likewise, it will leave for Naharlagun from Guwahati every Monday, Thursday and Sunday. It may be noted that Vistadome is a state-of-the-art coach designed to provide passengers with travel comfort and an enhanced viewing experience of their surroundings. The features of these coaches include wide transparent window panes and glass rooftop, rotatable seats at 180 degrees and pushback chairs.
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu expressed gratitude to the BJP led central government, especially Railway Ministry for introducing Vistadome services for Arunachal Pradesh.
Khandu said that “the North East is already a hot destination for tourists from across the country and the world. Now these state-of-art vista dome coaches will add to the attraction and tourist footfall will increase, which in turn will boost the economy of the state.”
He also informed that the MoS ongoing surveys are in various stages on several new routes connecting Arunachal, which are Murkongselek to Pasighat that will go on to Tezu-Rupai-Lekhapani connecting Marherita and Deomali, the strategic Misamari to Tawang and the one connecting North Lakhimpur with Silapathar up to Bame.
“Once these routes are complete and made functional, Arunachal Pradesh will witness a change in terms of transportation,” Khandu said.
CM Pema Khandu informed that agri-Horti farmers of Arunachal Pradesh are not in a position to produce in surplus due to lack of markets, which is a direct offshoot of transportation bottleneck. He also expressed hope that once railway connectivity reaches the interiors of the state, rural economy will boom.
Taking the opportune moment of the presence of the Railways MoS as well as top officials of the Ministry, Khandu requested for conversion of the existing Naharlagun-New Delhi train service to Rajdhani Express.
Also Read: Arunachal Settle with ‘Most Improved Small State’ For Infrastructural Projects & Governance under CM Pema Khandu
“This the demand of the people of Arunachal Pradesh, not singularly mine,” he said.
Khandu also requested the Railways to expedite construction of the Borum Bridge that will connect Borum with Naharlagun. He reasoned that soon the 4-Lane road construction will begin in Naharlagun and Nirjuli and the said bridge will greatly help ease traffic congestion during that period.
The Vistadome coaches are equipped with state of the art glass windows and all-glass roofs for providing view of the open sky, mountains, tunnels, bridges, hills, tea gardens and lush green forests to the tourists. It will also have observation lounges for the purpose of site seeing. The rotational seats of the coach are designed to provide added comfort to passengers.
Coaches are also provided with a digital entertainment system and Wi-Fi facilities. Tourists can enjoy the entire travel by enjoying infotainments like movies, music videos, etc. A wi-Fi-based passenger information system is also provided. For the safety of passengers, CCTV cameras and Fire Alarm System are also installed.
On the occasion, Khandu also integrated a handloom and textile center at the Naharlagun Railway Station which will facilitate the state artisans to showcase and sell their handloom products towards attaining self-sufficiency.