In an apparent response to China bettering its transport infrastructure along its western frontiers, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Tuesday announced that Arunachal Pradesh will get its first rail line this year.
"For the first time the state of Arunachal has been brought into the rail network and we shall commission the Harmuti-Naharlagun line this year," Bansal said presenting the Railway Budget in the Lok Sabha.
He said the national project of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla and other projects of strategic importance would be taken up on top priority.
"Providing need based rail connectivity to border areas is uppermost on railways' agenda," Bansal said.
He said works on the new line railway project to connect the state of Manipur were also in full swing.
The railways were also fast tracking gauge conversion works on Lumding-Silchar and Rangia-Murkongselek, he said.
Bansal said he would also pursue for the approval of projects identified as being of national importance, including the Bilaspur-Manali-Leh, Jammu-Poonch via Akhnoor, Tanakpur-Bageshwar and Parsuramkund-Rupai.
"I also propose to take up a new line between Firozpur and Patti for providing direct rail link between border areas of Firozpur and Amritsar-Attari," he said.