NEW DELHI: The Northern Railways have completed the first location survey for the proposed Leh-Manali railway track project. General Manager, Northern Railways, Vishwesh Chaube said two more surveys were to be carried out and meetings were being conducted in this regard.
He said the Northern Railways would decide the construction of railway tracks and stations between Leh and Manali. It would take two years to complete the survey report.
The project was very challenging as the Manali-Leh route remained closed for almost five months in a year due to snowfall. He said the Union Government had decided to have rail connectivity up to Leh.
The GM said the survey would be a detailed study to know the entire area of interest — how challenging the terrain and geology was; whether the railway line could be laid and would it be feasible at all at the required gradient.
The actual cost would be known only after the DPR was ready by 2019, sources said, claiming that the proposed Leh-Manali railway line that had a distance of 498 km, once operational, would be the highest in the world, overtaking China’s Qinghai-Tibet railway.
It is one of the four strategic railway lines being built by the Railways to fortify India’s borders with China, the others being Missamari-Tenga-Tawang, North Lakhimpur-Bame (Along)-Silapathar (249 km) and Pasighat-Tezu-Parsuram Kund-Rupai (227 km), the sources said. The Leh-Manali rail project was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security in December 2015.
Project was approved in 2015
- The Leh-Manali rail project was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security in December 2015.
- The project is very challenging as the Manali-Leh route remains closed for almost five months in a year due to snowfall. The Union Government has decided to have rail connectivity up to Leh only.
- Once operational, the Leh-Manali railway line will be the highest in the world, overtaking China’s Qinghai-Tibet railway.