The Chief Ministers of both the states further said that the old relationship between the two states would be further strengthened after the commencement of this train service.
Guwahati: In a historic event for the entire Northeast, the first Janshatabdi express train connecting Manipur and Tripura via Assam was flagged off by Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Railways, through a video link on Saturday (January 8). Agartala–Jiribam Janshatabdi inaugural special trains were flagged off from Agartala and Jiribam railway stations simultaneously. The inaugural programme was graced by Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) G. Kishan Reddy, Chief Minister of Manipur Nongthombam Biren Singh through video link, Chief Minister of Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb, Minister of State for External Affairs, Education, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment of Tripura Pratima Bhoumik, and other dignitaries. This service fulfils the long-standing demand of people of the two states, says the NFR in a statement.
The Chairman of Railway Board and CEO V. K. Tripathi, while welcoming all dignitaries, briefed about the newly introduced train service. On this occasion, the Chief Minister of Tripura, Biplab Kumar Deb, said that this train service would reduce the travel time from Agartala to Silchar in Assam and Jiribam in Manipur. Chief Minister of Manipur Nongthombam Biren Singh expressed his gratitude to the Railway Minister for getting the approval of the new rail line project of the Imphal-Moreh section. The Chief Ministers of both the states further said that the old relationship between the two states would be further strengthened after the commencement of this train service.
G. Kishan Reddy, Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), said that the much-awaited train service provides a major boost to trade and tourism of the Northeast region. He also expressed his gratitude towards the Prime Minister for his vision to work with the 'HIRA' model (H for Highway, I for Internet, R for Railways and A for Airways) of development for the North-eastern state. Union Minister of Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw said that this train connects the culture of two states. The Imphal-Moreh rail section will be a very strategic line, due to which the relationship between India and South-East Asian countries will get more important. The Minister of Railways said that efforts would be made to expedite the work on the Agartala-Akhaura rail project.
The First Janshatabdi express train from Manipur to Tripura via Arunachal station (Silchar) in Assam will connect important and historic towns like Silchar, Badarpur, and New Karimganj Dharmanagar, Ambassa apart from Jiribam and Agartala, the two terminal stations. Train journey shall cut the travel time by half as the journey time will be around 06 hours covering a distance of 300 Kms against about 12 hours or so it takes to travel by road. The schedule tri-weekly service of train No. 12097/12098 Agartala–Jiribam – Agartala Janshatabdi Express on Monday, Wednesday and Friday will commence w.e.f 10-01-2022 (Monday). The train will leave from Agartala at 06-00 hours to reach Jiribam at 12-00 hours. In the return direction, the train will leave from Jiribam at 16-00 hours to reach Agartala at 22-00 hours.
This service will give an impetus to the region's trade, tourism, and transportation sectors, for the three states. At present, there is no direct train between Manipur and Tripura, and only one train runs between Agartala and Silchar in the morning hours. The Janshatabdi train will now provide direct connectivity to the people of Manipur going to Tripura for Educational and Health facilities, and the people of Tripura also gets an opportunity to visit Manipur for trade, tourism etc., boosting the overall economy of the region.