Source: News Bharati English30 May 2016 15:32:17

Dibrugarh, May 30: While addressing the public at a glittering ceremony at Dibrugarh town railway station in Assam, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on Saturday said that all Northeastern states will be connected with broad gauge rail link by 2020. Prabhu had dedicated to the nation four new rail passenger amenities in the State – a high-speed free WiFi service for accessing internet at Guwahati railway station, a Reverse Osmosis Water Purifier Plant at Guwahati railway station, the newly constructed building of Jorhat railway station and the renovated Dibrugarh town railway station.A simultaneous public ceremony was held at Guwahati railway station which was attended by MP Bijoya Chakraborty, East Guwahati MLA Siddhartha Bhattacharya and senior NF Railway officials. “Indian Railways have taken several innovative measures in the last two years for improving services, operational efficiency, increasing customer satisfaction and infrastructure development and the result of these steps are becoming apparent now,” Prabhu said.

He said Indian Railways had recently introduced Gatiman Express between Nizamuddin and Agra which runs at a speed of 160 kmph. More such trains would be introduced in phased manner, he said.

Addressing the meeting, the Railway Minister said the Northeast is a diverse biological hot-spot and the strength of the region is its rich natural resources. Indian Railway would utilize this strength for bringing in more development to the region, he said. He also elaborated on various plans of the Railways for the Northeast.

Prabhu said the previous UPA government had failed to attract investment in the railways. “The NDA government has been able to garner more funds from different sources and as a result, the ministry is utilizing a sizeable amount to raise the comfort level of passengers,” he commented. Prabhu said the old system of putting written complaints in the box has been abolished. He said one can lodge his or her complaint through social media also.

Prabhu said he would speak to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and explore the possibility of floating a joint company for looking after certain sectors of the railways in this part of the region. The experiment initiated with the Maharastra government has been yielding positive results, he pointed out.

The high-speed free WiFi service for visitors and rail users at Guwahati station is provided by RailTel in partnership with Google and this state-of-the-art world class service is the first of its kind in the Northeast. The service was first launched at Mumbai Central station in January this year. The service built over the fibre network of RailTel is designed to offer broadband-like experience to users. Such WiFi network is now operational in nine more stations across the country.

The Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant at Guwahati railway station will provide pure contamination-free drinking water at platforms No. 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. The source of drinking water at Guwahati station is water from river Brahmaputra which is filtered through rapid gravity filter and disinfected with chlorination. Three reverse osmosis plants, one each for platform No. 1, 2 & 3 and 4 & 5 have been installed to remove all types contamination such as bacteria, viruses, pesticides, heavy metals and chemicals etc, an official release said. The rejected water from the reverse osmosis module will be recycled. The plant also starts and shuts down automatically depending on the water level in the storage tanks thereby saving electricity.

The Jorhat town railway station has been declared as an Adarsh Station and various works have been undertaken to upgrade it. These include construction of a new station building, including a new waiting hall and a lounge. The approach road to the station has been improved and the circulating area developed. Facilities for physically challenged persons like ramp, water supply and parking facilities have been added. Platform No. 1 has been extended and its surface improved by fixing Kota stone slabs. The facade of the station has also been improved by providing porch & replacing roof sheets. The total cost of the work is Rs 1.99 crore, news agency The Sentinel reported.

The Dibrugarh town railway station has been thoroughly renovated at an approximate cost of Rs 1.17 crore. As part of the renovation work, the drainage system in the station has been improved and platform No. 3 has been raised. The circulating area of the station has been improved by fixing paver blocks and the surface of platform No. 1 has been improved by fixing Kota stone slabs. The concourse of the station has also been improved.