On Monday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said the funds from the central government for Indian Railways projects in Himachal Pradesh have almost tripled during the tenure of Modi government compared to the allocations made under the tenure of the previous Congress government. Goyal was quoted in a PTI report saying that the survey for the new Jagadhari-Paonta Sahib railway line would be conducted shortly, in view of the expected rise in freight from the industrial area of Paonta Sahib. According to the Railway Minister, during the Modi government tenure between 2014 and 2019, an average allocation of Rs 280 crore per annum has been made in the budget for railway infrastructure projects and safety works in the hill state.
This allocation for railway projects is almost triple the average allocation of Rs 108 crore per annum during the period 2009-2014. The Railway Minister further said for the financial year 2021-22, budget allocation of Rs 770 crore has been made which is over six times more than the average allocation during 2009-2014. Goyal said the Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) will conduct a study to examine if the Kalka-Shimla railway track could be strengthened to improve the speed of the trains plying on this rail track.
Also, the coaches of Kalka-Shimla trains would be redesigned as well as manufactured to enhance the experience of tourists, Goyal said. For passengers to get a panoramic view of the beautiful valleys along the route, all the existing coaches on the Kalka-Shimla track will be replaced with vista dome-type coaches, he said.
The Railway Minister further said various steps were being taken by the national transporter to expedite work on the Bhanupali-Bilaspur-Beri railway line and Chandigarh-Baddi railway line. An amount of Rs 405 crore has been allocated for the Bhanupali-Bilaspur-Beri railway line and Rs 200 crore has been allocated for the Chandigarh-Baddi railway line. Moreover, coaches for trains that run on Pathankot-Jogindernagar rail track would be replaced as well for having a panoramic view of Dhauladhar hills along the route, Goyal added.