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Railway To Invest New Tracks Beyond Agartala

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Indain Railway

Agartala, January 12: The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has invested around Rs 1,000 crore to extend the railway line beyond Tripura capital Agartala and up to the state’s southern temple city Udaipur, a top official said here on Thursday.

The NFR would start two pairs of passenger train services on the newly constructed Agartala-Udaipur route from January 20, fulfilling the long-pending demands of the people of southern Tripura.

According to NFR’s Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma, the passenger trains would run six days a week, except on Sundays.

“The NFR has invested over Rs 1,000 crore to extend the 44.76-km railway lines up to Udaipur (district headquarters of Gomati district). We have completed laying of railway tracks up to Udaipur before schedule of March 2017,” NFR Chief Engineer Harpal Singh told IANS over phone from Guwahati.

He said: “The railway line would be extended up to south Tripura district headquarters Belonia by this year end or early next year. By March 2019, southern Tripura’s last border town Sabroom would be connected by railway network.”

Singh said that two major tunnels would be constructed for the Belonia and Sabroom lines.

The Indian government has been extending railway line up to Tripura’s border town Sabroom to get access to Bangladesh’s international Chittagong sea port, which is just 75 km from Sabroom.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said: “After the Indian Railways extends its rail line up to Sabroom, it would be very easy to connect with the Chittagong international sea port in southeast Bangladesh.”

“After extending the railway line to Sabroom, Tripura and the entire northeast India would be linked with southeast Asia very easily,” Sarkar told IANS.

The extension of the erstwhile metre-gauge track up to Agartala brought Tripura capital city on India’s rail map in October 2008. Subsequently the metre-gauge track was converted into broad-gauge track.

The long-awaited passenger train services between Agartala, New Delhi and Kolkata began on July 31 and October 8 last year respectively.

NFR Chief Engineer Singh said that the single track 227-km metre-gauge link — Badarpur (south Assam) to Agartala — was converted into broad-gauge track earlier last year at a cost of Rs 2,016 crore.

The NFR is now laying a broad-gauge track for the 112-km Agartala-Sabroom line — to be completed by March 2019 — at a cost of Rs 3,351 crore.

Sabroom, 135-km (by traditional road) south of Agartala, is southern Tripura’s border town adjoining Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the NFR has already undertaken work to lay a 15-km rail track to connect Agartala with Bangladesh’s railway station Akhaura, an important rail junction there.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Bangladeshi Rail Minister Majibul Haque jointly laid the foundation stone here on July 31 last year for Agartala (India) – Akhaura (Bangladesh) railway project.

Wefornews Bureau

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GST Council nod for mandatory e-Way Bill for inter-state goods movement

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GST Bhavan. (File Photo: IANS)
GST Bhawan (File Photo)

New Delhi, Dec 16: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Saturday approved mandatory compliance of e-Way Bill for inter-state movement of goods from February 1, sources said here.

Some states might roll out both inter-state and intra-state e-Way Bill from February 1 on a voluntary basis. The system for e-Way Bill will be available from January 15.

E-way bill for intra-state will be compulsory from June 1, the source added. However, implementation of e-Way Bill for intra-state movement will done in a staggered manner from February.

IANS

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Cabinet nod to amend Specific Relief Act for ease of business

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Ravi Shankar Prasad( Law Minister)

New Delhi, Dec 15: In a move to further ease procedures for doing business in the country, the cabinet on Friday approved a bill proposing to amend the Specific Relief Act, 1963, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced here.

Briefing reporters here after a cabinet meeting, the Minister said that with the concerned bill slated to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament, he was unable to elaborate any further on the proposed legislation apart that it was for “ease of doing business.”

“Among the significant decisions, the cabinet approved the proposal to introduce amendments to the Specific Relief Act, 1963, as part of ease of doing business,” Prasad said.

“The Specific Relief Act, 1963, is being changed substantially..being modernised for promoting growth and investment,” he added.

The government has been contemplating amendments to the Specific Relief Act to limit the compensation and relief that courts can give in cases involving execution of infrastructure and development projects.

According to official sources here, the proposed changes seek to introduce guidelines for reducing the discretion granted to courts and tribunals while granting performance and injunctive relief.

The government constituted a five-member expert committee last year, to review the Act and suggest changes needed to remove bottlenecks in execution of contract-based infrastructure development, public private partnerships and other public projects.

In its report, the committee recommended changes in the law to limit the powers of courts to award relief.
“Any publi” work must progress without interruption. This requires consideration whether a court’s intervent’on in public works should be minimal. The role of courts in this exercise is to interfere to the minimum extent so that public works projects will not be impeded or stalled,” the committee “aid in its report.

IANS

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CBEC hikes customs duty on mobile phones, TVs and other electronic items

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New Delhi, Dec 15: The Ministry of Finance on Friday increased customs duty on import of mobile phones and other electronic devices such as televisions, mobile projectors, microwave and water heaters.

In a notification issued by Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), the customs duty on certain sections of mobile phones has been raised from 10% to 15%.

While customs duty on television sets has been scaled up to 15 per cent from the existing 10 per cent.

Similarly, the customs duty on monitors, microwave ovens, projectors has been doubled to 20 per cent, as per the notification.

The Custom duty on push button telephones or mobile phones has been raised to 15 per cent from nil.

The changes will impact tech and electronic titans such as Apple, Sony which have been planing to set up manufacturing units in India.

WeForNews 

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