Work has commenced on Indian Railway’s longest tunnel – the Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway line in Manipur. The 111-km-long new broad gauge railway line from Jiribam to Imphal comprises 37 tunnels, of which Tunnel No. 12 will be the longest in the Indian Railway at 11.55 km.
This tunnel will not only connect two parts of Manipur by rail, but will also be a symbolic representation of the state getting connected to the Indian mainland. Additionally, the gauge railway line will feature the tallest bridge in the world, being constructed over the Iring river with a pier height of 141 m. It will not only connect Imphal to the rest of the country, but also open up new vistas for economic development for the region.
With a focus on connectivity being the prime driver of development, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has reportedly assured that his ministry would not spare any resources for bringing in speedy development of rail connectivity in the Imphal region. Also, it is known that Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain would be entrusted with the work to monitor progress of the projects under the broad gauge railway line to ensure timely completion.
A national project, the 111-km-long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway kicked off in 2008. Works for the 12.5-km-long Jiribam to Dholakhal section had been completed and commissioned for freight train in March this year; and subsequently, construction of 25 out of the total 37 tunnels on the 84 km Jiribam-Tupul section were completed in April. Works on the rest are well in progress.