Rishikesh-Karanprayag line : the bubble has burst

Dehradun : The people of Uttarakhand had waited with baited breath for the railway budget and not without reason. For all were keen to know the future of the much touted Rishikesh-Karanprayag railway line, whose foundation stone had been laid with much fanfare by the Congress party at Gauchar on Nov 9 last.

But having encashed the fervour which goes with such much awaited and wanted schemes in a state, and having emerged as the single largest majority, four short of a simple majority in the state, not a single pie has been allotted for the new railway line which is said to cost about Rs 4300 crores.

In the run up to laying the foundation stone of the project, optimistic data had been circulated in the media to spread the message that the Congress meant business.

Pauri Lok Sabha member, Satpal Maharaj had even gone on record to say how he had single handedly worked for the project to see the light if day when he was the union railway minister, but is silent on why no allocation has been made for the project.

For days preparations were being made for laying the foundation stone and all allegations by the then ruling BJP that it was being done only with the vidhan sabha elections in mind were categorically refuted.

It was said with much fanfare that the 125 kms railway line, estimated to cost about Rs 4300 crores would be completed in five years.

The Congress media planners ensured that every silent detail of the proposed project was also made public to send the message how much home work was being done on it and how seriously the party was on ensuring that it is completed on schedule.

It was said that besides a number of tunnels, as many as 128 small and medium bridges would also be constructed for it to become a reality.

Media managers even outlined that the project would be made by the Rail Mandal Vikas Nigam and an outlay of Rs 200 crores would be done for the first year, another sum of Rs 200 crorers for the second year and Rs 1000 crores in the third year, by when work on it would really pick up.

But the pipe dreams that had been created for the masses with the election in mind are now broken. Vision of the economy being transformed with the new railway line, an impetus to tourism in the state, an added dimension to the pilgrimage to the four dhams of Yamnotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath and cheaper travel in the region had been propagated with much fanfare. But then the bubble has burst.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt was Editor, Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish had worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, he was a recipient of many awards Jagdish Bhatt, aged 72, breathed his last on 28th August 2021 at his Dehradun residence.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.