HP CM seeks Baddi-Kalka broad gauge railway line

In view of the upcoming industrial pockets in Baddi, Barotiwala and Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Monday asked railway minister Dinesh Trivedi to build a Baddi-Kalka broad gauge rail line.

Dhumal said a survey of the line was completed and a report was submitted in April last year.

According to the survey, the total cost of the rail line was estimated at Rs 385.45 crore, for which provisions have to be made in the Centre’s budget for railways this year.

Dhumal also sought Trivedi’s personal intervention to start work on Bhanupalli, Bilaspur and Beri railway lines as agreed by the Prime Minister’s office in August 2007.

It was decided that the project would be funded 75 per cent by the railways and 25 per cent by the state government.

While the cost of land was to be included in the state’s share, any additional funds and cost overruns were to be borne by railways, said Dhumal.

But this decision was changed by the cabinet committee on economic affairs without consulting the state government, he said.

‘More investment’

According to a letter by the Chief Minister to the railway minister, the rail line will help bring investment in the industrial belt of the state.

A broad guage line means bigger trains can ply on them, hence more goods can be transported from the region to other parts of the state and the country.

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