Guwahati: The Himalayan state of Sikkim is soon going to get connected to the railway map of India, as the Sivok-Rangpo project is likely to be completed by June 2021.
The 44.9-km-long broad-gauge railway line will decongest the jam-packed roads of Sikkim which are very prone to get disrupted due to uncertain weather conditions.
With an initial sanction of Rs 1,339.48 crore, the project cost has now gone up to Rs 4,085.60 crore, with the project being tracked by the Project Monitoring Group (PMG).
The new railway line holds strategic importance with future connectivity to Gangtok and thereafter to Indo-China Border (Nathula Pass), which is vital in meeting defence requirement. Hence, it is categorised as a national project as it is of “national and strategic interest”.
The railway line will have four stations after Sivok in West Bengal, namely Riyang, Teesta Bazaar, which will be an underground station, Melli and Rangpo.
According to information from NR Railway, it will consist of 14 tunnels, covering 38.64 km, that is, 86% of the total length. It will cross through 14 major and eight minor bridges covering 2.24 km.
The train journey is expected to cover the stretch in less than 2 hours, making the travel less tiring and much more comfortable than travelling by road.
At the same time, the connectivity will also prove to be more reliable as it is least affected by weather conditions and bump up tourist footfall in the Himalayan state.