Date of Post: 20 Oct, 2018
The Bilaspur-Manali-Leh line, which will be the world’s highest railway track, to be declared a national project. It has also suggested that the construction on a 51 km stretch between Upshi in Himachal Pradesh and Phe in Leh begin immediately. The phase-1 of the survey for the project has been completed and initial estimates put the cost of the 465 km line at Rs 83,360 crore.
- This is the most difficult project undertaken by the Indian Railways and is one of 5 most significant projects in terms of strategic importance.
- General Manager, Northern Railway, Vishesh Chaube,”We have suggested that the project be declared a national project as once completed it will help our armed forces, as well as boost tourism and lead to the development of the region.”
- The advantage of a project being declared a national project is that a major chunk of the funding for the project is borne by the central government.
- The project, which will have a highest road point of 5360 metres above mean sea level, is comparable only to the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Line in China, which is at a height of around 2000 metres above sea level.
- The 51 km stretch from Upshi to Leh is a gentle gradient compared to the rest of the project and is likely to be completed in 2 years’ time with an approx. cost of Rs 5,000 crore, said Alok Kumar, Chief Administrative officer, Construction, Northern Railway.
- The line once completed will connect important locations between Bilaspur and Leh like Sundernagar, Mandi, Manali, Keylong, Koksar, Darcha, Upshi and Karu and other important towns of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir enroute.
- According to the phase-1 of the survey, the project will include 74 tunnels, 124 major bridges and 396 minor bridges.
- Chaube said, once finished the line will reduce the distance between Delhi to Leh from the present 40 hours to 20 hours.
- He said that the final location survey is expected to be completed in 30 months’ time after which a detailed project report will be finalised.
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Deepak Kumar is a part of the content team of Rail Analysis India as a writer and analyst .
His focus is on new initiatives on the Railway Sector of India .
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