State government will meet 50% of cost for rail expansion in the state : Chief Minister

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By : Arvind Sharma

The Chief Minister said that state government has agreed to coop up the 50% of the expenditure for the railway expansion in the state. He said, “This decision was taken so that the state can get its desired share of rail expansion soon.” He said that the state government wants that like Kalka–Shimla rail, the Kangra valley narrow rail should also be given a national heritage status and it may run as usual on Pathankot–Jogindernagar link. But some new rail links must be provided to this hill state to give it a boost in development.

Talking to media at Dharamshala on Thursday, Virbhadra Singh said, “Bhanupalli (near Nangal ) to Bilaspur in Himachal rail link is already approved by rail ministry, which shall be further extended to Mandi and Manali for Leh. We wish that this link from Mandi also be given a line to Pathankot via Palampur . The broad-gauge link of Nangal-Mukerian has already reached Amb in Una district, from here a line could go to Kangra via Nadaun to join Mandi–Pathankot link, which will cover the whole central area of Himachal.” CM said that the work on Amb–Mukerian section should also be speeded up, which is at a snail pace at the moment.

He said, “There is impale scope to expand Gaggal airport of Dharamshala upto Ansoli and beyond by covering the rivulet to make it viable for landing of jet airplanes here. We will help center to give land if required.” Mr. Singh said that in past too his government constructed the Gaggal and Shimla airport to hand them over to airport authority of India, these were not extended a feet till then. He said, if the air strip of Gaggal is expanded and large planes starts landing here the traffic will increase considerably and air fare will go down to suit the people of area.