The much-awaited conversion of railway track from meter gauge to broad gauge from Assam’s Lumding to Agartala is expected to be completed by 2012, the government said on Monday.

Replying to a notice initiated by CPI(M) MLA Manindra Chandra Das, transport minister Manik Dey said that it is likely to be completed by 2012.

“During a review meeting between Chief Minister Manik Sarkar with the general manager of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) on February 10, the later said that the ongoing work from Lumding to Badarpur was progressing satisfactorily and the conversion work from Lumding to Agartala is expected to be completed by 2012.”

The conversion work on the 394 km rail track from Lumding to Agartala was started in 1996 but has not made much progress due to militancy in North Cachhar Hills, Mr. Dey said adding that with the decline of insurgency in the area, work is progressing fast.

The minister further said that the State government had requested the NFR authorities to seek Assam government’s help to provide more security in the area to expedite the conversion work.

Mr. Dey said, only three months would be needed to convert the railway track from narrow or meter gauge to broad gauge from Kumarghat to Agartala (110 km) because during the laying of rail lines, provisions were kept for swiftly converting it to broad gauge.