The Centre Government is exploring feasibility to connect Sino-India border district Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh with the rail network. The Centre has asked Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju , who is also an MP from Arunachal West seat, to explore the feasibility of the rail network in the remote area.
The two ministers will tour the state from April 1 to study the viability and final location survey of new broad gauge line connecting Bhalukpong with Tawang which is a distance of 378 kilometres. Bhalukpong is the last station of Indian Railways on Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.
Tawang is of immense strategic importance to India as it is located on the Sino-India border and China has been laying claim to it. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of Tibet and routinely objects to any visit by top Indian leaders, officials and diplomats to the area.
It takes 18 hours from Guwahati in Assam to reach Tawang through road. Guwahati is the nearest major city and citizens of Tawang depend on it for any medical emergency.
Other new broad guage railway lines which will be part of the survey will be 249-kilometre North Lakhimpur-Bame -Silapathar which is between Pasighat airport and Rupa in Arunachal Pradesh.
Sinha and Rijiju will also be meeting citizens, elected representatives and senior railway officers during the visit.