After the successful trial run of Talgo train, it’s time for the launch of the longest tunnel in the Indian Railways. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu declared the launch of the construction of the longest tunnel on the Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway line on Saturday.
The railway line is 111 km long and comprises of 37 tunnels, out of which tunnel no. 12 is the longest tunnel (11.55 km) in the entire Indian Railways network. What’s more interesting to know is the unique feature the stretch boasts of — the tallest bridge in the world over River Iring (with a height of 141 m), which is equivalent to two Qutab Minar placed over each other (that’s huge!).
The project was initially taken up in 2008 and was soon declared a National Project. Meanwhile the work for 12.5-km-long Jiribam to Dholaikhal section and construction of 25 tunnels (out of 37) on the Jiribam-Tupul section have been completed in April this year. The construction of other tunnels is under progress.
Suresh Prabhu announced the launch of the tunnel while he was speaking at an event that was held to lay the foundation stone of the railway station at Yurembam Village, about 13 km from Imphal.
As addressed by Prabhu on the occasion, “Connectivity is the prime driver of development and the Railway Ministry would not spare any resources for bringing in speedy development of rail connectivity in the region. Indian Railways have taken a holistic approach towards development and the 111-km-long new broad gauge railway line from Jiribam to Imphal. This will not only connect Imphal to the rest of the country but also open up new vistas for economic development of the region”
It’s interesting to know that the tunnel would not only connect two parts of Manipur by rail but also bag a big achievement of connecting the state with the Indian mainland.
He further added, “We are proud of our cultural heritage and therefore the proposed Imphal station had been designed incorporating the architectural elements of Kangla Fort Gate and Shri Govindji Temple –two historical monuments of Manipur”.
It is learnt that Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railways would be assigned with monitoring the project’s progress so that it’s completed in time.
Ibobi Singh, Manipur’s Chief Minister, put forward his request to consider extending the railway line from Imphal to Moreh, while expressing his happiness for the initiatives taken by the Indian Railways for bringing in better connectivity to the region.