Chief Parliamentary Secretary Rajesh Dharmani said that the request of the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for expansion of railway network in the State with Union Railway Minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal, recently, would not only strengthen the industrial sector in the State but would also provide facilities to the farmers and horticulturalists for easy transportation of their produce.

Rajesh Dharmani is at New Delhi and added that the request of the State was considered sympathetically by the Union Railway Ministry and it has assured to give adequate share of the state in developing Railways infrastructure. He said that Chief Minister had strongly advocated for completion of Bhanupalli-Bilaspur-Beri rail line as per the decision taken in the meeting held in the Prime Minister’s office on 8th August, 2007 wherein it was decided to share the cost of executing this project in the ratio 75: 25 by the Central and the State Government respectively. Chief Parliamentary Secretary said that the need for laying this broad gauge rail line was necessary considering its economic and strategic importance.

Himachal Pradesh has its International boundary with China which has been expanding its railway network and strengthening its position. Keeping this in view, the Chief Minister has requested GoI for conversion of Pathankot-Jogindernagar narrow gauge rail-line into broad gauge and its expansion up to Leh via Mandi. Dharmani said that the Railway Ministry had seriously viewed for reinforcing the same. Apart from this, the rail-link would also attract tourists to the famous tourist destination and would help in tourism promotion, he said.

He said that the request put forth by the Chief Minister for early execution of Ghanauli-Baddi-Kalka and Chandigarh-Baddi rail-line would give fillip to industrial growth. He said that the State Government had strongly urged for budgetary provisions for early completion of these projects having National importance.