North India Times

Bhanupalli-Manali-Leh rail line to be a reality

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There is a good news for the residents of Himachal Pradesh who were always neglected in the railway budgets.The union government has alloted a budget  of Rs 1000 crore has been fixed for the ambitious Bhanupalli-Barmana-Mandi-Kullu-Manali-Keylong-Leh rail line.

The union government nod comes after the suggestion was made in the meeting of ministry of defence and national security advisory committee held recently.

It is also the outcome of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal’s efforts which had raised the matter with union government time and again.Dhumal had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week and had once again raised the issue of laying a rail line from Bilaspur in Himachal to Leh in Jammu & Kashmir.

Dhumal had requested Modi for spending at least Rs 100 crore on this rail line out of the total sum of Rs 1,000 crore announced by the Finance Minister for improving the rail network in the border areas of the country.

“The Bhanupalli-Barmana-Mandi-Kullu-Manali-Keylong-Leh rail line should be developed on the pattern of the rail network in north-eastern States on a war footing. The project could be utilised for the uplift of tourism prospects and could prove a viable alternative for transporting arms-ammunition and rations for the forces stationed at the high altitude areas,” Prem Kumar Dhumal said.

Dhumal had also welcomed the initiation of surveys for the two rail lines in the hill State and requested the Prime Minister to speed up the work and allot more funds for the only broad gauge rail line of Una-Nangal-Talwara in Himachal.

The rail line will not only boost the tourism activities in the state but will also develop the snow deserts of the country. The proposed railline will prove to be vital link to connect strategically important border areas in Leh and transport military supplies, keeping in view the communication upgrade being done by the neighbouring country along the border, Dhumal told North India Times.

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