The Centre speeded up about 498 km Bilaspur -Manali -Leh rail border area project as the Final Location Survey (FLS) has been undertaken at a cost of Rs 345 crore, the Union Government disclosed in the winter session while replying about border railway project in the Parliament recently.
This written reply was given in the Parliament to a query about rail connectivity in border areas by Union minister of State for railways Mr. Rajen Gohain recently that the Ministry of Defense had initiated rail line projects along China, Nepal, and Pakistan borders as strategic lines. He said 14 strategic lines have been identified, out of which four – Bilaspur -Manali -Leh (498km), Missamari -Tenga -Tawang (378km), North Lakhimpur -Bame -Silapathar (249km), and Pasighat -Tezu -Rupai (227km) – would be taken up in the first phase.
The first line is along the Himachal – J&K border and the last three lines along Assam – Arunachal border. The minister said stability, geology, construct-ability, maintainability and safety issues need to be examined for these projects. This year, a team of senior officials from the railways had visited Leh to discuss long -term and short -term plans to provide rail connectivity to the Himalayan region. To expedite the work and conduct a survey before laying the rail line, officials had requested the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, to provide adequate land for setting up a camp office, and the required infrastructure.