Sikkim Rail Connectivity: Work On Sivok-Rangpo Rail Link Project Picks Up Pace


The work on the 44.98-km-long rail link project between Sivok and Rangpo, which connects Sikkim with the rest of the country, has picked up pace.

The Rs 4,086 crore project is of strategic importance with future connectivity to Gangtok and also to Indo-China Border, upto Nathula Pass.

While inspecting the tunnel site of the important project at Sivok, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has instructed officials to make it as a ‘Gateway to Sikkim’.

Sikkim at present, is connected by road only through NH 31A, which passes through very steep slopes and experiences frequent disruptions during monsoons.

Increased traffic demand puts tremendous pressure on the road, making it more vulnerable to damages and the journey more stressful.

Rail connectivity will provide a reliable and comfortable transportation infrastructure.

Expected to also play a vital role in meeting defence requirements, the project entails construction of 14 tunnels — with the longest tunnel having 5.27 km length.

The vital rail link will also have a total of 21 bridges, including 13 major and eight minor ones. The rail link project will have the longest bridge of 375 metre long.

According to the Railways, the project incurred expenditure of Rs 2,062 crore till March last year.

The rail link project involves construction of a 3.43 km rail line in Sikkim and 41.6 km line in West Bengal. The government had earmarked an outlay of 2,500 crore for the FY 2022-23.

The project envisages five stations at Sivok, Riyang, Teesta, Melli and Rangpo — of which Teesta station would be constructed underground.

Contracts for four yards have also been awarded. The Railways maintains that work is in progress for construction of yards at Sivok, Riyang , Melli and Rangpo stations.

The project has got the wildlife clearance (Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary), besides getting forest clearance — both crucial requirements for commencing the work.

The government has acquired 152.82 hectares of land, out of a total requirement of 159.28 hectares.

Contracts have also been awarded for construction of all 14 tunnels with 27,164 metres of tunnel mining, out of a total 38,623 metres, completed.

Work is in progress for construction of bridges, with contracts for 13 major bridges been awarded.