India: The Indian railway has set a target of completing the 498-km Bilaspur-Manali-Leh line and 2 other railway projects by 2019. The final location survey at Leh in Jammu and Kashmir began in the year, as per officials.
At a height of 3,300 meters, the 498-km long stretch is set to become the highest rail track in the world, overtaking Chinas Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
The railways has received Rs 47.18 crore from the Indian Defence Ministry for the final location survey (FLS) of the 378-km Missamari-Tenga-Tawang line, the 227-km Pasighat-Tezu-Rupai line and the 249-km North Lakhimpur-Bame-Silapathar line after the Cabinet Committee on Security decided to take them up for construction.
A K Yadav, Chief Administrative Officer (Construction) of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), said “We have set a target of December 2018 for the FLS for Pasighat-Tezu-Rupai line and December 2019 as the deadline for the other two. These three are extremely difficult terrains and we have to deal with unstable and high mountains. In places such as the Sela Pass in the Missamari-Tenga-Tawang line, it is 14,000 feet high”
We want the line to be operational through the year, despite the snow,? said Yadav, adding that the three line are of 853 km with 58 km in Assam and 795 km in Arunachal Pradesh.
These four priority lines are part of the 14 strategic lines which were identified for development in November 2010, among the 28 railway lines in the China and Pakistan border areas approved ?in principle? by the Defence Minister in January 2010.