19th century railway section in Assam hills yearns for heritage status

By Samudra Gupta Kashyap  indianexpress.com

Even as the railways are currently engaged in replacing the 111-year old metre-gauge Lumding-Badarpur Hill Section into a broad-gauge track, a 47-km stretch of the historic line, literally forming a garland around Haflong, Assam’s only hill station, is waiting to be conferred heritage status.

The Assam government meanwhile has written to the railways asking them not to dismantle it, so that it could be promoted as a tourist attraction.

While the 225-km Lumding-Badarpur Hill Section – often described as the “most spectacular mountain line of Indian Railways” –  is currently in its last phase of gauge conversion – to be completed by April 2015 – a 47-km portion encircling the picturesque hill station of Haflong has remained untouched, including its century-old buildings mostly made of stones and timber.

The 47-km portion has nine stations – Mahur, Migrendisa, Lower Haflong, Bagetar, Haflong Hill, Jatinga, Longrangjao, Mailongdisa and Harangajao – each one a heritage in its own right.

As a group of citizens of Haflong, highly concerned about preserving that 47-km stretch has asked the government to declare it a heritage track and promote it as a tourist attraction, the state government on its part has written to the Railways saying it was serious about retaining and promoting this 47-km stretch as a heritage track. More info

 

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