Indian Railways connectivity to Sikkim with Sevoke-Rangpo Rail Line Project! In the coming years, the state of Sikkim will get Indian Railways connectivity. Although all other North-East states have been connected with Indian Railways, Sikkim is still left out of the rail map. However, the state is expected to get connected to the Indian Railways network with 44.96 km long Sivok-Rangpo new line project, which was included in the Budget in 2008-09. The line’s 41.55 km falls in the state of West Bengal, while 3.41 km falls in Sikkim. In a written reply to a question in the parliament, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal recently stated that the latest anticipated cost of the Sevoke-Rangpo Railway project is Rs 4,085 crore. Up to March 2020, Rs 682 crore expenditure has been incurred and Rs 607 crore outlay has been provided for the fiscal year 2020-21.
According to the ministry, the Sikkim state government has to expedite handing over of balance 1.5 Ha. revenue land, while West Bengal state government has to expedite clearance of Forest and Wildlife for balance 12.38 Ha. land for tunnels. The ministry further stated that works have been taken up in the available land. Out of a total of 14 tunnels (around 39 kilometres long), works have been taken up on 12 tunnels and so far, progress of around 2.50 kilometres length has already been achieved.
Also, West Bengal government is yet to shift 26 number of structures from proposed Melli yard site and 4 number of structures from Riyang yard site for which full amount of compensation as demanded by the state government has been deposited with the state government in the month of October 2014, the reply stated. Also, the necessary No Objection Certificate (NOC) has been issued by the state government for the construction of the Sevoke-Rangpo Railway project.
According to the Railway Ministry, the calculation of the amount of compensation as well as rehabilitation is done by the state government. However, the full amount of compensation has already been deposited by the national transporter to the state government as demanded by them.