The final location survey by the Indian Railways for the 498 km long Bilaspur-Manali-Leh line at Leh in Jammu and Kashmir will commence this week. The work for the final location survey will be inaugurated by Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu, on June 27, 2017.
The survey that will be conducted by RITES, a Government of India undertaking, will involve an estimated cost of Rs. 157.77 crore and will be funded by the Ministry of Defence.
The railway line will come up at a height of 3,300 meters and is going to be the highest railway track in the world which, until now, is the Qinghai-Tibet Railway of China.
The defense ministry has identified the all-weather Leh rail network as one of the four important railway connections along the border of China. The new line will establish a connection between various important locations including Sunder Nagar Mandi, Manali, Tandi, Keylong, Koksar, Darcha, Upshi and Karu falling between Bilaspur and Leh.
Once the Bilaspur-Manali-Leh line gets completed, Leh, an extremely strategic region in the northern-most state of Jammu and Kashmir, will be directly connected to Himachal Pradesh and indirectly connected to the entire country by way of rail route. Apart from its strategic importance, the route will also yield “socio-economic benefits” to the region including tourism.
The Economic Times quotes a senior Railway Ministry official saying,
RITES has deployed its expert team to carry out this challenging task. The survey will be carried out in three phases and is slated to be completed by 2019.
The information was also shared by the Ministry of Railways on its official Twitter handle,
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) June 25, 2017