D.R.Dhiman, Railways Land Acquisition Officer, said the Railways land acquisition office in Una was initially acquiring 30-m-wide land for the track, it had now reduced the width to 8 m for the 15-km-long stretch from Daulatpur Chowk to the Talwara section.
It may be mentioned that the foundation stone of the Nangal-Una-Talwara rail line, to link it with the Jalandhar-Pathankot broad-gauge line was laid at Amb in 1974 by then Union Railways Minister Lalit Narayan Mishra. But four decades later, the track is just about half complete.
The line is functional only till Amb and two trains, including the Amb-Ambala Diesel Mobile Unit and the Himachal Express, reach Amb via Una every day.Lack of adequate fund granted for the track in the subsequent Railway Budgets has been one of the main reasons for the inordinate delay in completing the track.It has strategic importance because it directly links Delhi, Chandigarh, Pathankot and Jammu.
A sum of Rs 100 crore had been set aside in the current Railway Budget for ongoing works on the track.
A big chunk of the funds have been spent on the acquisition of private land for the track as well as rail stations and other related infrastructure.
To cut cost of laying the track, the Railways had reduced the width of land to be acquired to eight metres.Further, in an effort to do away with water-logging and drainage problems in the fragile Shivalik range, the track would be laid on elevated pillars, said a railway engineer pleading anonymity.
The official informed that 10 big and 24 small bridges had already been constructed on the Amb-Andaura-Daulatpur section and work on 16 small bridges was underway.
Railways Land Acquisition Officer said civil works at the Chintpurni Marg Station, being constructed at Kuneran village, is also underway.