Himachal gives nod to survey for Manali-Leh rail link

September 14th, 2008 - 3:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Sep 14 (IANS) The approval for conducting a pre-feasibility study of a rail link to Leh in Jammu and Kashmir via the Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district has been given by the state government, an official said Sunday.”We have been given a no-objection certificate (NOC) by the Himachal Pradesh government to conduct the survey of the Jogindernagar-Manali-Leh railway project,” Rakesh Saran Mathur, managing director of Trans-Himalayan Railway Private Ltd, told IANS.

The company has been told to conduct the study for the Rs.650 billion rail project within three months.

“We have already started the work like soil and terrain testing and collection of geographical data,” Mathur said.

The Trans-Himalayan Railway Private Ltd is a promoter company of ICC Holdings, a Delhi-based engineering company.

The central government had allowed the state government to conduct the pre-feasibility survey of a broad-gauge two-way electrified track.

The 460-km railway line would provide an all-weather connectivity to tribal areas of both Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir that remain cut off for over eight months in a year.

The rail line would also play an important role for the movement of armed personnel, equipment and essential commodities to border areas that are close to Pakistan and China.

“We have also been told by the state government to conduct a feasibility study of linking the proposed Bhanupalli-Bilaspur railway section with the Leh rail line,” Mathur said.

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