Published On:April 13 2024
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Train to Sikkim: Railways completes mining in 10 out of 14 tunnels, sets August 2025 deadline

The Indian Railways is on track to complete the ambitious Sivok-Rangpo Rail Project (SRRP), linking Sikkim with the rest of the country via a robust rail network, by August 2025. A senior official confirmed this development on Friday, highlighting significant progress in the project.

Covering a total length of 44.96 km from Sivok in West Bengal to Rangpo in Sikkim, the SRRP encompasses 14 tunnels, 22 bridges (including 13 major and 9 minor ones), and five railway stations: Sivok, Riyang, Teesta Bazar, Melli, and Rangpo.

The completion of mining work in 10 out of the 14 tunnels marks a major milestone in the project. Of these 10 tunnels, lining work has been completed in four, with ongoing work in the remaining six. The project includes tunnels ranging from 538 meters to 5.3 km in length.

Furthermore, 12 out of 13 major bridges have completed their substructures, with one bridge featuring a pier height of 85 meters, a formidable engineering feat. A significant portion of the rail line, approximately 86%, traverses through tunnels, while 5% passes over bridges, presenting a unique engineering challenge.

The project has faced hurdles, including geological challenges in certain tunnels due to poor rock strata, which required remedial measures such as cement consolidation and increased primary support. Despite these challenges, steady progress is being made, with the Teesta Bazar station, the country's first underground railway station, nearing completion.

Construction of the project has also faced setbacks, including disruptions caused by flash floods along NH-10 and delays due to land acquisition and forest clearances. The COVID-19 pandemic further impacted progress in 2020 and early 2021.

Currently, all tenders for tunnels, bridges, and yards have been awarded, and work is underway. While the initial estimated cost of the project was Rs 4,085 crores in 2015, the revised cost stands at approximately Rs 12,132.95 crores.

The SRRP represents a significant infrastructure project, vital for enhancing connectivity and facilitating economic growth in the region.


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