By Our Staff Reporter
New Delhi, 4 Apr: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami paid a courtesy call on Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, here, today. The Chief Minister urged the Railway Minister to provide additional trains to Uttarakhand and for approval of surveys for new railway lines to improve rail connectivity.
Dhami urged Vaishnav to approve a new Janshatabdi train service between Tanakpur-Dehradun and Shatabdi Express between Delhi-Ramnagar.
The Chief Minister also requested the Railway Minister to approve the construction of a tunnel-based rail line project and the Rishikesh-Uttarkashi rail line project to connect Dehradun to Saharanpur via Mohand. Urging the Railway Minister to start the Haridwar to Varanasi Vande Bharat Train service, the Chief Minister said that this would be of great convenience to the pilgrims and tourists wanting to visit the state from Eastern UP.
Expressing gratitude for the cooperation received in the past, Chief Minister Dhami stressed that the Centre bear the entire cost of the under construction Kichha-Khatima new rail line project. He further asked the Union Minister for approval to a new Ramnagar-Haridwar-Dehradun direct train service. He stated that additional special train services should also be started from various places, mainly New Delhi, Mathura and Lucknow, etc., to Tanakpur for the remaining duration of the Purnagiri Fair.
While discussing rail services in Uttarakhand with the Railway Minister, the Chief Minister said that, at present, the Dehradun-Kathgodam Janshatabdi is the only service connecting Kumaon and Garhwal. Tanakpur also borders Nepal, so a Janshatabdi train service between Dehradun and Tanakpur would also increase passenger traffic between Uttarakhand and Nepal. The Chief Minister said that the famous tourist destination of Jim Corbett National Park, located in Ramnagar, receives constant inflow of tourists from the country and abroad. Therefore, it would be very useful to operate a Delhi-Ramnagar Shatabdi Express.
Dhami added that, at present, one has to go through Haridwar to travel by rail from Dehradun to New Delhi. The Haridwar-Dehradun rail line is a single track. As trains have to pass through Rajaji National Park, the speed of the train is also low to ensure safety of wildlife. As a result, the entire journey takes relatively longer time. If the rail line from Dehradun to Saharanpur could be via Mohand, some part of which would pass through a tunnel, then the journey from New Delhi to Dehradun would become shorter. Apart from facilitating the movement of tourists, commercial activities would also get a boost. Similar to the tunnel system being adopted in the Rishikesh-Karnaprayag rail project, approval of the project should be given after examining the feasibility of the rail line via Mohand.