The Bengal-Sikkim Rail Project took another step forward. Successful break-through of tunnel number 3 near Kalijhora. The excavation of seven tunnels out of 14 has already been completed. The railway line will run between Sivok in West Bengal and Rangpo in Sikkim.
This new rail link project from Sevak to Rangpo is about 45 km long and includes 14 tunnels, 22 bridges, and 5 stations, including an underground station at Teesta Bazar in West Bengal. About 38 km of the entire project have been traversed through tunnels; already, about 76 percent of the tunnel construction work has been completed. The excavation of seven tunnels has already been completed, and several more are in the process of completion.
Project Director Mahinder Singh said, "The new rail link project from Sivok to Rangpo is about 45 km long and includes 14 tunnels, 22 bridges, and 5 stations, including an underground station at Teesta Bazar in West Bengal. About 38 km of the entire project will move through tunnels. Already, about 76 percent of the tunnel construction work has been completed. The excavation of six tunnels has already been completed, and several more are nearing completion. Final concrete lining of other tunnels has also started."
The final concrete lining of other tunnels has also started. All activities related to the construction of tunnels, bridges, and stations are currently being carried out under wartime conditions with the aim of completing the project by December 2024. Once completed, the project will be connected to the Sikkim Railway for the first time.
In a press release from January this year, the North East Frontier Railway said that the project will "provide overall development for the state". The project adopted the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM) to complete the tunnel through reductive and weak groundmass under the supervision of highly experienced foreign engineers as well as well-experienced engineers from India.
The next phase of track-linking work through this tunnel will start soon. Tunnel No. Rangpo station, located just after T-14, is also under construction and will become a trade and tourism hub for Sikkim after its completion. The official of Indian Railway Construction (IRCON) International Limited assured that safety protocols are in place and being followed.
In March this year, Minister of Railways, Communications, Electronics, and Information Technology Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw also visited the tunnel and appreciated the work.
This auspicious occasion of the completion of the final concrete lining marked a significant milestone in the project's history. This railway project will further improve the socio-economic status of the state after completion and is also considered to be one of the most prestigious national projects under construction in India.