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The Railways has started work on a new link connecting North Bengal and Sikkim, a railway ministry release said early this week.
The proposed railway line passes through the foothills of Kanchanjungha mountain range and Tiesta river valley. The alignment connecting Rangpo from Sivok is 44.4 km long, more than 70 per cent of which will be through tunnels. The work also involves spanning of deep gorges/valleys with likely bridge pier height more than that of Qutab Mina, the release said.
Ircon International Limited is carrying out the work and the project cost is estimated at around Rs3, 300 crore. The work is expected to be completed in 5 years.
When completed, the rail link will greatly improve the connectivity to Sikkim and will be of great boost to the state's economy as well as tourism.
The Railways, meanwhile, reported an 8.45 per cent rise in revenue earnings during April-February 2009-2010. The total approximate earnings of Indian Railways on originating basis during 1 April 2009 to 28 February 2010 were Rs77, 890.29 crore compared with Rs71, 821.97 crore during the same period last year.

Total earnings from goods traffic have gone up from Rs48, 837.32 crore during Apri-February 2008-09 to Rs52, 584.57 crore during April-February 2009-10, an increase of 7.67 per cent.

Posted on: 27 Mar, 2010

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