Security concern forces India to embark on railway line along Tibet

Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, September 7: In order to counter threat posed by China’s build-up of railway network along Tibetan areas bordering India, New Delhi has unveiled its ambitious project to come up with a railway network in the areas located close to Tibet.

Heeding to the Defence Ministry’s concern over China building railway lines close to the Indian borders, the Indian Railway has finalised an ambitious project to come up with a railway network in the areas located close to Tibet, according to Indian media reports.

14256522_1251996271511447_217468587_nTo conduct survey work on the proposed railway line that is estimated to cost at least over INR 22,000 crore, Railway Ministry has sought land from the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council to set up the camp office at Leh.

Apart from countering China’s aggression, the 498-kilometre rail line that will pass through Bilaspur, Mandi, Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh to reach Leh-Ladakh is also expected to bolster tourism in the region as well.

Top officials from the railway ministry have recently visited Leh and met with the local elected representatives and district administration to discuss about the proposed railway connectivity to Ladakh region.

The railway network is already being expanded in the Kashmir valley as well as in the strategically significant state of Arunachal Pradesh, The Free Press Journal quoted railway ministry sources as saying in its report.

The Ministry has further issued orders to strengthen the railway network near Nepal to counter China’s move to set up a rail link closer to Kathmandu and another parallel to Arunachal Pradesh the report concluded.