As China bolsters infra near border, Parliament panel wants railways to expedite strategic projects to boost connectivity | India News

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NEW DELHI: A parliamentary panel has recommended the railway ministry to expedite 14 strategic rail line projects to improve connectivity to border areas and ease movement of Army during contingencies. The committee has said this has become more important in the wake of China’s “aggressive” building of infrastructure near border areas.
Taking into account that the railways has completed the surveys of all the 14 lines and three of these have been sanctioned, the standing committee on Government Assurances of Rajya Sabha headed by M Thambidurai has observed that lack of adequate infrastructure on the borders is one of India’s most pressing strategic vulnerabilities.
“These strategic railway lines will definitely strengthen India’s borders as it would ease movement of our Army across the borders during contingencies. In the wake of China’s aggressive building of infrastructure near border areas, it has become more important than ever that these strategic railway lines are completed soon,” said the report presented in the House during the last session of Parliament. The committee has recommended the ministry to complete the strategic railway lines as per schedule and also keep it apprised of the development.
These projects include new lines from Murkongselek to Pasighat (26 km) and Missamari-Tenga-Tawang (201.5 km) in Assam and Arunachal; Pathankot-Leh (664 km) in Punjab and Ladakh, Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch (223 km), Srinagar-Kargil (480 km) and doubling of Jodhpur-Jaisalmer line in Rajasthan (290-km). The estimated cost of the 14 projects spread across Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh is over Rs 3.5 lakh crore.
The railway ministry has told the committee that out of 14 projects, three — Murkongselek Pasighat new line, Patti-Ferozpur and Rishikesh-Karnprayag — have been sanctioned.



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