Sonia to lay Uttarakhand railway line foundation stone on Nov 9

Dehra Dun : UPA chairperson and AICC president Sonia Gandhi will lay the foundation stone of the proposed 125 kms Rishikesh-Karanprayag railway line in Uttarakhand on November 9. The foundation stone will be laid at Gochar in the Garhwal hills.

Earlier, the foundation stone was to be laid on November 5, but as the AICC president will not be able to reach Gochar on the said date because of earlier commitments, the date was postponed. Gochar, incidentally, has the largest flat tract in the region, and is also used for the landing of choppers during emergency.

Meanwhile, there is a lot of excitement in the state over the laying of the foundation stone, for railway lines just touch the peripheries of this infant state. The railway stations, which are at the entry of the state include Dehra dun, Kotdwara and Rishikesh, which hardly serve even a miniscule percentage of the hill population.

Cutting across party lines, political leaders of various hues admitted that November 9 would be a red letter day in the history of the state, when the foundation stone for the railway line is laid. Incidentally, this day also happens to be the statehood day.

Meanwhile sources in the Railways said that new technique would be used in laying the railway line, which would pass through low and middle Himalayas and not actually traverse the higher reaches. Some of the technology that has been used in the Beijing-Lhasa railway line is likely to be incorporated in this railway line, they added.

They said that the railway line would be laid by the Railway Development Corporation Ltd and would also generate employment at the local level for the unemployed youth of the region.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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