Sep 6, 2016

Before Manali-Leh train Lahaul-Leh connectivity

SHIMLA: Indian Railways has finally stepped up efforts to provide rail connectivity to Lahaul-Spiti and Leh along China border. A team of Northern Railway visited Leh two days back and held a meeting with officials of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), and demanded land to set up camp office to conduct survey for the rail line.

LAHDC chief executive councillor Sonam Dawa Lonpo told TOI that as laying of rail line between Manali and Leh would take time, railways wants to provide internal rail connectivity within Leh region by laying a track between Bema and Nyoma covering an area of 250km as part of its short-term plan.

Leh is situated at an altitude ranging from 2,300m to 5,000m above sea level and has an area of 45,100 sq km. The district is bounded by Pakistan occupied Kashmir in the west, China in the north and eastern part and Lahaul-Spiti of Himachal Pardesh in the south-east. Topographically, the whole district is mountainous with three parallel ranges of Himalayas - the Zanskar, the Ladakh and the Karakoram.
Lonpo said the visiting team has been apprised that it would be easier to lay rail line along banks of the Indus due to plain area. He said laying of rail line between Bema and Nyoma would not only cover 75% population of Leh district but also prove to be of great benefit to the armed forces deployed in the area.

"LAHDC is ready to provide the required land to the railways and authorities will inform us about exact requirement of land within a week. Once a written request is received, formalities would be completed immediately to transfer the land," he added.

Anticipating rail line would come to Leh one day, Greater Leh Master Plan too had made the budgetary provisions for rail infrastructure within Leh around 10 years back.

Defense expert Brig Khushal Thakur (retd) said road, rail and air link is vital to keep the enemy at bay in Ladakh sector. He said having internal rail network in Leh region would help increase the mobility of troops.
TOI

 

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