Himachal Asks Center To Expand Rail Network

Shimla: Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal urged the central government to expand the rail network in the hill state as transport constraints were effecting development and industrialization in the state. It would also serve strategic interest of the country, he said.

Talking to media persons at Dharamshala, Dhumal said that he had apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and finance minister P Chidambaram about the states demands for expansion of the rail network as it had been neglected since the country gained independence.

The prime minister on an earlier occasion had announced that the Nangal-Talwara railway line would be completed by 2008 but the ultimate destination was still 25 kilometers short, said Dhumal.

He said that budgetary provisions for the Bhanupalli-Bilaspur-Beri broad gauge railway line which were announced by finance minister P Chidambaram on behalf of the prime minister during his visit to the state were yet to be made.

These projects were vital for development of the state and I have apprised the central leaders about it, said the chief minister on returning from Delhi.

He said with no rail connectivity from Chandigarh to the states industrial belt at Baddi-Barotiwala was depriving movement of material and finished goods.

The chief minister mentioned that while China had connected Lahasa with a rail line, the country’s national boundaries were also facing a reliable communication network.

A good rail network through Himachal would be of importance for national security also as a reliable communication network could help in moving men, machinery and supplies to frontier posts, said Dhumal.

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