Pratibha seeks review of Kalka-Shimla rail line

    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Himachal Pradesh MP Pratibha Singh Tuesday met Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge and requested him to expand the railway network in the state, besides ordering a fresh inspection of the century-old Kalka-Shimla rail line to check its traffic worthiness.

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    Contending that the state remains neglected as far as expansion of railway network is concerned, she requested Kharge to accord top priority to sanctioning future projects to the state.

    The newly-elected Lok Sabha member, who is the wife of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, asked Kharge to undertake a survey of bridges located on the century-old Kalka-Shimla rail line, a 96-km-long narrow gauge railroad built to ferry Europeans to and from Shimla – then the summer capital of British India.

    “A fresh survey of bridges and tunnels on the Shimla-Kalka line needs to be undertaken to assess their strength as they have gone in bad shape,” she said.

    The Kalka-Shimla rail line has been chosen by Unesco as a world heritage site in 2008.

    Pratibha Singh also demanded that the Bilaspur-Bhanupali-Manali-Leh railways line, which will link Himachal Pradesh with neighboring Jammu and Kashmir through rail, should be declared as project of national importance.

    She said the project should be fully funded by the union government keeping in view its strategic importance.

    She also demanded adequate budgetary allocation for early and timely completion of the Nangal-Talwara rail line, the work on which has been going on at a snail’s pace for many years.

    To link the state’s industrial town Baddi with Chandigarh, she requested for laying broad gauge railway line from Kalka to Baddi.