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‘Zero Rajdhani’ bypasses Guwahati to bridge time gap

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A particular superfast prepare through Bogibeel, India’s longest rail-road bridge throughout the Brahmaputra, covers 117 km lower than the common Rajdhani route between New Delhi and Dibrugarh.

Bogibeel, India’s longest rail-and-road bridge throughout the Brahmaputra, had in December 2018 introduced the 2 “emotionally connected” banks of japanese Assam nearer by greater than seven hours.

A ‘zero Rajdhani’ prepare through this 4.94 km bridge has now introduced the folks of the 2 banks nearer to New Delhi by greater than 100 km.

Also learn | Bogibeel: from ‘small’ to large

The 02505/02506 between New Delhi and Dibrugarh on October 12 is technically not a Rajdhani, a superfast prepare whose quantity begins with 2 whereas these of mail specific trains begin with 1. The zero makes it a particular prepare, the likes of that are operated quickly.

“The train will officially become the biweekly Rajdhani we had planned to introduce from May 3 once train services in the country become regular. The plan had to be shelved because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” mentioned Subhanan Chanda, spokesperson of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).

Railway officers mentioned the particular ‘Rajdhani’ may very well be the primary of its type, deviating from the definition of such trains – connecting the nationwide capital with the capitals or nearest largest metropolis of the States. The prepare bypasses Guwahati, Assam’s principal metropolis and the unique terminal for the Rajdhani, by some 50 km.

For folks in Dibrugarh and the japanese a part of Arunachal Pradesh, what issues extra is the choice of reaching Delhi or some other stations on the route of ‘normal’ Rajdhanis quicker. The observe through Bogibeel is 117 shorter than the common Rajdhani route by Guwahati.

Also learn | ‘Finding skilled manpower was the key challenge for Bogibeel project’

Gateway to Arunachal Pradesh

“Our town, one of Assam’s oldest, is often called the gateway to Arunachal Pradesh. But we had to catch superfast trains from Naharlagun [near Arunachal capital Itanagar] to Delhi at Harmuti, about 30 km away. We may not have got the real Rajdhani yet, but the fact that a special one now halts here augurs well for us,” mentioned Sailen Baruah, a resident of North Lakhimpur, headquarters of Assam’s Lakhimpur district.

In footage | The Bogibeel, an architectural marvel throughout the Brahmaputra

He mentioned the folks of Lakhimpur and Dibrugarh districts had at all times been psychologically, economically and culturally linked to Dibrugarh however the river in between pressured them to preserve distance. The different was a 12-hour highway journey through the Kaliabhomora bridge throughout the Brahmaputra miles west of Bogibeel or a time-consuming river ferry service.

The particular ‘Rajdhani’ is the fourth pair of passenger trains connecting North Lakhimpur and Dibrugarh for the reason that Tinsukia-Naharlagun Express launched on December 26, 2018, 5 days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Bogibeel Bridge.

Also learn | Bogibeel bridge: Boatmen worry lack of livelihood

“The train and road service via Bogibeel not only energised the local economy and cultural exchanges but also helped people in Lakhimpur and Dhemaji district access medical care in Dibrugarh faster. Almost 80% of the passengers of the pre-lockdown trains travelled for treatment or diagnosis,” Mr. Baruah mentioned.

“Faster trains are an alternative to Lilabari Airport, where the frequency of flights has reduced drastically over the years. Some trains have saved us the trouble of staying a night in Guwahati to catch trains or flights out of the region, but the north bank [of Brahmaputra] needs more long-distance trains,” mentioned Sazzad Hussain.

Such was the outflow of sufferers {that a} non-public nursing house had to shut down the one intensive care unit in North Lakhimpur, different residents mentioned.


The bridge had additionally made connectivity between the japanese and western halves of Arunachal Pradesh quicker. “We are looking forward to the resumption of regular train services to save on travel time,” mentioned B. Namchoom of Namsai in japanese Arunachal Pradesh.

On the flip facet, the bridge has led to site visitors congestion in Dibrugarh. “Half the vehicles on the streets here are from Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts,” mentioned native resident Rukmini Bora.


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