New Delhi: The BJP government today said it proposes to undertake surveys for some new rail lines in Himachal and Uttrakhand.
Presenting the Rail Budget before the Parliament, Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said the Government has planned to undertake surveys for two new lines in Himachal and rail connectivity to Char-Dham in Uttrakhand among the 18 new lines to be introduced across the country
In Himachal these would be Una-Hamirpur and Hoshiarpur-Amb Andaura and in Uttrakhand the Railway Minister proposes to connect Char Dham Kedarnath, Yamunotri, Gangotri and Badrinath.
BJP MP from Hamirpur constituency Anurag Thakur has in the past patted himself for introducing four trains “despite being in the opposition” during UPA rule. Thakur was BJP’s face in the Parliament for his hour-long speech in reaction to UPA’s rail budget on 7 March last year.
“I took up the issue of expansion of railway network in the State due to which four new trains were started in Himachal,” he told people at election rallies in his Hamirpur constituency in this April.
In appears BJP top brass and the Railway Minister have suitably rewarded the young Turk from Himachal for his campaign in the state where BJP mopped all Parliamentary seats in a run-up to 2014 elections.
Save for narrow-gauge, vintage-value trains Kalka-Shimla and Pathankot-Jogidernagar, Himachal has no bulk carrier besides New Delhi-Una Janshatabadi and Delhi-Una Himachal Express which usually remain fully-booked round the year.
Uttrakhand is slightly better served with fast trains connecting to Dehradun, Haridwar, and Kathgodam for those heading Nainital. However, it is not yet clear whether these Char Dhams, nestling deeper in the laps of Himalayas, will be interconnected by a single train, or separately.
“I have also been receiving requests for projects from the Members, State governments and other public representatives. To honour their requests, I propose to undertake 18 surveys for new lines” Gowda announced during his budget speech, amid shrill protests from Opposition on recent rail fare hike.