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Guwahati,Samudra Gupta Kashyap (TOI): Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the 22411 Naharlagun-New Delhi AC Express, linking the Arunachal Pradesh capital with the national capital, different students’ groups, including the All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), have demanded stoppages at Kokrajhar, Udalguri and Tangla stations for the new train.
“While we welcome the inclusion of Arunachal Pradesh capital in the country’s railway map, we are surprised why the 22411 AC Express linking Naharlagun with New Delhi has no stoppages at Udalguri and Kokrajhar. We urge the railways to immediately announce stoppages for this train in the two important stations,” said ABSU president Pramod Boro and general secretary Lawrence Islary.
They pointed out that while Kokrajhar is not only the headquarters of the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD), it is also important for people of south-eastern Bhutan. “Announcing stoppages at Kokrajhar and Udalguri, headquarter town of the district by the same name under BTAD will boost the economy of the backward districts, it will also immensely benefit the people for whom railways is the cheapest mode of transport,” Boro and Islary said.
Local units of the ABSU, All Bodo Students’ Union (AASU) and other student bodies on the other hand have demanded a stoppage for the AC Express at Tangla, another important town in Udalguri. Members of these student bodies also blocked the railway track on Friday when Modi flagged off the New Delhi-bound express train at Itanagar.
The 22411 Naharlagun – New Delhi AC Express that will leave Naharlagun at 9.10 pm every Tuesday and reach New Delhi at 11.40 pm every Thursday, will cover a distance of 2193kms in 50 hours and will have commercial stoppages at Harmuti, Rangapara North, Rangiya, New Bongaigaon, New Coochbehar, New Jalpaiguri, Barauni, Hajipur, Chhappra, Sewan, Gorakhpur, Lucknow and Kanpur.
Modi had on Friday also flagged off the Inter-City Express between Naharlagun and Guwahati apart from formally introducing the Naharlagun-Dekargaon (Tezpur) passenger train. Passengers travelling to Arunachal Pradesh, however, will have to obtain an Inner Line permit in order to enter the hill state that shares 1050 kms of the international boundary with China.