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BSNL network will improve in U’khand: Dhami

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CM calls on Communication Minister Ashwini Vaishnav in New Delhi

By OUR STAFF REPORTER

DEHRADUN, 6 Aug: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami paid a courtesy call on Ashwini Vaishnav, Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology, in New Delhi today. On the request of the Chief Minister to strengthen the mobile network in Uttarakhand, the Union Minister approved installation of 1206 mobile towers of BSNL in Uttarakhand.

The cost of each mobile tower will be Rs 1 crore. The Chief Minister also requested to start a Jan Shatabdi rail service between Tanakpur-Dehradun. The CM also urged the Railway Minister to waive the due balance amount of Rs 99 crore to be paid by the state government for construction of the Roorkee-Deoband rail project. He informed the Railway Minister that so far the state government has already paid the contribution to the tune of Rs 296.61 crore.

Dhami informed the union minister that at present there is only one train service running between Dehradun-Kathgodam to connect Kumaon and Garhwal. Due to being a Nepal border, heavy movement of people is there from Tanakpur too. Therefore, to further strengthen the Kumaon-Garhwal connectivity, it is necessary in public interest to operate a Jan Shatabdi rail on the Tanakpur Dehradun route.

The Chief Minister also requested to convert Tanakpur Bageshwar rail line into broad gauge instead of narrow gauge, making Haridwar-Dehradun rail line double lane, modernisation of Harrawala railway station, Rishikesh-Uttarkashi rail line and Kichha-Khatima rail line. The Railway Minister agreed to the demands made by the CM. The Chief Minister also requested him to make necessary arrangements to complete the journey in 5 to 6 hours by reducing the travel period of Purnagiri Jan Shatabdi running between Tanakpur to Delhi.

The Chief Minister said that in the context of RoorkeeDeoband rail project, the State Government has agreed to bear 50 percent of the project cost in the past, as against the total project cost of Rs 791.39 crore. However, in view of the limited financial resources of a small hill state like Uttarakhand, the Chief Minister urged the Union Railway Minister to accept the amount of contribution paid so far by the State Government as final contribution to be paid by the state government by waiving the remaining amount of 99.01 crore against 50 percent contribution.