Progress is underway for the 125-kilometre Rishikesh-Karnaprayag railway line in Uttarakhand, with Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) officials stating that 60 per cent of the new broad gauge railway line has been successfully constructed.
The officials hope to complete the project by the end of 2025, reports Times of India.
The new broad-gauge railway line, with an estimated cost over Rs 16,200 crore, is set to link Rishikesh in the foothills to Karnaprayag.
This line will traverse through five districts within Uttarakhand, namely, Dehradun, Tehri Garhwal, Pauri Garhwal, Rudraprayag, and Chamoli.
There are 12 railway stations en route — Yog Nagari Rishikesh in Rishikesh, Muni ki Reti, Shivpuri, Manjilgaon, Sakni, Devprayag, Kirti Nagar, Srinagar, Dhari devi, Rudraprayag, Gholtir and Karnaprayag.
According to Om Prakash Malgudi, the deputy general manager of the project, the original target for completion was 2024. However, due to the impact of Covid, the work has been delayed.
"A high court ban on mechanised mining has considerably hindered the supply of aggregates, which has added to the difficulty," he added.
Despite these obstacles, the excavation work has been progressing rapidly, with a daily excavation rate of 170 metres for a tunnel.
To ensure uninterrupted rail traffic even during inclement weather, particularly heavy rains, all the tunnels will be made waterproof. Additionally, they will be reinforced to withstand seismic activity.
Out of the 125.2 km length of rail line, 104 km will be through tunnels which is around 84 per cent of the total length of the line.
The project has a total of 17 tunnels including a 15.1 km tunnel, one of the longest in the country, between Devprayag and Lachmoli.
The rail link between Rishikesh and Karnaprayag, is being built as a part of the Char Dham Rail line project of the Indian Railways.
The project aims to improve pilgrim connectivity to the Char Dham shrines of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath which are situated in the Garhwal Himalayas.
It will facilitate easy access to pilgrimage centres situated in the state of Uttarakhand, connecting new trade centres, development of backward areas and to serve the population living in the area.
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