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First Janshatabdi train between Manipur, Tripura and Assam to boost trade, tourism

 
Agartala/Imphal, Jan 8 (IANS) The first Janshatabdi Express train connecting three northeastern states -- Assam, Manipur and Tripura -- was flagged off by Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday.

Speaking on the occasion, Union DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region) Minister G. Kishan Reddy said that the much-awaited train service would provide major boost to trade and tourism in the northeast region.

The Janshatabdi tri-weekly service from Manipur to Tripura via Arunachal station in southern Assam's Silchar would connect some important towns like Silchar, Badarpur, New Karimganj (all in Assam), Dharmanagar and Ambassa (in Tripura) apart from Jiribam (Manipur) and Agartala (Tripura) -- the two terminal stations.

According to the Chief Public Relations Officer of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), Guneet Kaur, the train journey shall cut the travel time by half as the journey time will be around six hours covering a distance of 300 km against about 12 hours travel by road.

Reddy expressed his gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the vision to work with the ‘HIRA' model (H for Highway, I for Internet, R for Railways and A for Airways) for the development of the northeastern states.

Railway Minister Vaishnaw said that this train would be a link connecting the culture of northeastern states.

The proposed Imphal-Moreh (along India-Myanmar border) rail section would be a very strategic line, due to which the relationship between India and other Southeast Asian countries would be very important, he said, adding that efforts would be made to expedite the work of the Agartala-Akhaura (Bangladesh) rail project.

The flag-off ceremony took place in virtual mode between the Railway Board in Delhi, the Chief Minister's Office in Imphal, and the railway stations in Jiribam and Agartala.

Besides Vaishnaw and Reddy, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, his Manipur counterpart N. Biren Singh, central ministers Pratima Bhowmik and Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, and Railway Board Chairman and CEO V.K. Tripathi were, among others, were present in different locations during the inaugural ceremony.

The NFR CPRO said that this train service would provide an impetus to trade, tourism and transportation sector in the northeastern region.

There was no direct train between Manipur and Tripura and only one train runs between Agartala and Silchar, that too in the morning hours.

The Janshatabdi Express will now provide direct connectivity to the people of Manipur going to Tripura for educational and health facilities and the people of Tripura will also get the opportunity to visit Manipur for trade and tourism, boosting the overall economy of the region, the Kaur said.

--IANS
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