Shimla: Northern Railway has awarded the construction work of Bhanupali-Bilaspur-Beri broad guage Railway line for the construction of first three kilometers of new railway line at a cost of Rs. 17.25 crores. This was revealed by Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister Himachal on receipt of a communication from the Northern Railway, here today.
Chief Minister said that it was due to relentless efforts of the State Government, which emphatically took up this ambitious rail project with the Central Government. He said that with the construction of this railway line, the traffic congestion would get lessened and would help minimise pollution to a great extent. It would further strengthen the infrastructure development for industrial growth. He said that with the coming up of Bhanupali-Bilaspur-Beri Railway line, the State would get all weather, cheap, accessible and sustainable transportation and would also open new vistas for tourism development. He said that pre-feasibility survey of this rail link has been got done by the State Government at its own cost and the cost share of this railway line would be borne by the Central and State Governments on 75: 25 basis.
Prof. Dhumal said that the State Government has also taken up the matter at the highest level of GOI and with the Ministry of Railways to extend Bhanupali-Bilaspur- Beri railway through Mandi-Manali to Leh. He said that the Ministry of Railways had already sanctioned Rs. 81 lakhs for Reconnaissance Engineering-cum-Traffic Surveys for construction of new Broad Gauge Railway line from Bilaspur to Leh via Kullu-Manali. The survey of 480 kms Bilaspur-Leh rail line will take about two years. Besides this, the case of Pathankot-Jogindernagar Railway line was being presented before UNESCO for grant of World Heritage Site status to this railway track. He said that Kalka-Shimla railway line had already been declared World Heritage Site status by the UNESCO. He said that with the declaration of Pathankot-Jogindernagar Railway line as World Heritage Site status, Himachal, being a small State would boast of having two World Heritage Site status railway line. He said that the land acquisition process in Punjab area had already been started by the Government of Punjab and was likely to be completed on priority. He hoped that the project would take off in time and complete within the targeted period.