Dehradun: Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Tuesday demanded expansion of railway network in Uttarakhand in view of the strategic importance of the state which shares borders with China and Nepal.
In a detailed proposal submitted to Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda, Rawat sought immediate implementation of projects sanctioned for Uttarakhand in the last Rail budget and clearance to new ones in the next, besides additional facilities in trains bound for different destinations in the state known for its tourism potential and places of religious significance.
"Tourists and pilgrims, more than double the total population of Uttarakhand, visit the state every year. Strategically too the state is very important sharing borders with China and Nepal. China has expanded the road and rail network at a phenomenal pace over the past few years.
"Hence, it is necessary that we expand the rail network in Uttarakhand not only for the convenience of tourists and pilgrims coming from all over the country and abroad but also from the strategic point of view," a statement said, quoting Rawat.
Pointing out that Gairsain in Chamoli district is being developed as the summer capital of the state, the Chief Minister demanded early start of work on construction of Ramnagar-Chaukhutiya rail route project sanctioned in the last rail budget.
Considering Chaukhutiya`s proximity to Gairsain, the project acquires great importance both strategically and in terms of convenience, the Chief Minister said.
He also demanded early implementation of Rishikesh-Karnaprayag, Tanakpur-Bageshwar and Muzaffarnagar-Roorkee rail routes.
Demanding a new rail route between Saharanpur-Dehradun, the Chief Minister said currently trains coming to Dehradun have to take a circuitous route through Saharanpur, Roorkee, Haridwar and Luxor.
The new route through Herbertpur (Vikasnagar) will be of great benefit to the tribal people residing in Yamuna Ghati and Chakrata-Tyuni areas besides decongesting the Haridwar route.
Rawat also demanded additional coaches and chair cars in some well-known trains coming to Uttarakhand including Delhi-Dehradun Jana Shatabdi, Delhi-Kathgodam/Ramnagar Sampark Kranti and Anand Vihar-Kathgodam Shatabdi Express trains.