Rishikesh-Karnprayag rail line to be functional by 2024-25

LUCKNOW/MORADABAD: The 125 kilometres long Rishikesh-Karnprayag railway line comprising 12 stations, 17 tunnels and 35 bridges constructed at a cost of Rs 16,216 crore will start operating by 2024-25. This was stated in a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat to review progress in the project on Monday.

It was stated in the meeting that the Virbhadra-Rishikesh rail line will become functional by 2019-20, the New Rishikesh-Devprayag rail line will become functional by 2023-24 and the Devprayag-Karnprayag stretch of the rail line will become functional by 2024-25. As part of the project, the Indian Railways will also construct a hospital at Srikot, a bridge and stadium. Rawat directed the district magistrates of Pauri, Chamoli, Tehri and Rudraprayag to work in coordination with railways and Garhwal commissioner to ensure swift disposal of all land and building compensation cases related to the rail project.Expressing satisfaction at the pace of work, Rawat said that the DMs should share their experiences to ensure timely redressal of hurdles to be faced in this project which is of national importance. Rail Vikas Nigam Limited officials informed that work is underway on construction of the Virbhadra-Rishikesh rail line, road under and over bridges, approach and entry routes. Geo-technical investigation is also underway along the entire stretch of the project. They also informed that a 327.11 kilometre long rail line has been recommended for facilitating rail connectivity to the Char Dham shrines in Uttarakhand. The estimated cost for this would be about Rs 43,292 crore. The railway board has approved about Rs 120 crore in the current financial year for final location survey for this proposed rail connectivity.

It should be mentioned here that the Rishikesh-Karnprayag rail project is being monitored as a project of national importance through the PRAGATI portal. The transfer of required forest and state government land for the project has been done while the acquisition of 167 hectare land in the four districts is in the final stage. About Rs 900 crore will be spent on the project in 2018, Rs 1050 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 2200 crore in 2020. The CM said that all the stations should be constructed considering the tourist spots and mountain architecture style. Disbursement of compensation should be expedited, he stressed.

Additional chief secretary Om Prakash, principal secretary Anand Wardhan, secretary Arvind Singh Hyanki, Garhwal commissioner Shailesh Bagauli, Rudraprayag district magistrate Mangesh Ghildiyal, other district magistrates through video conferencing and chief project manager Himanshu Badoni were also present in the meeting.