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Ladakh to get all-weather Indian Railways connectivity with "world's highest" Bilaspur-Manali-Leh line

May 15, 2019
Bilaspur-Manali-Leh railway line for Ladakh! Soon, connectivity issues in the heart of Leh-Ladakh will be completely solved! Indian Railways, along with the Ministry of Defence, is coming up with a big infrastructural project which will provide all-weather railway connectivity from Himachal Pradesh to Leh. The Bilaspur-Manali railway line, reported to be the world's highest railway line, is scheduled to become operational in the coming few years.

The Ladakh region usually remains cut-off from the rest of the country for nearly six months every year due to the closure of the 434-km long Srinagar-Leh national highway during winters. However, the work on the detailed project report (DPR) for the all-weather railway line between Himachal Pradesh to Leh has started. Once the project is completed, it will provide an all-weather surface connectivity to the far flung areas of Ladakh. Here’s all you need to know about the upcoming Bilaspur-Manali-Leh railway line and some of its unique features:

1. The Bilaspur-Manali-Leh railway line project is set to be at the highest point of 5,360 metres above the mean sea level. This Indian Railways project is comparable only to the Qinghai-Tibet rail line of China. The 51-km long stretch from Upshi in Himachal Pradesh and Phe in the Leh district will be seamlessly connected with this line.

2. This railway project is of strategic significance as it will lie along the Indo-China border and will not just help the armed forces of the country, but will also boost tourism and overall development of the region. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has worked on the final location survey (FLS).

3. Presently the railway connectivity in Leh is not easy. Bhanupalli is the nearest rail head, which itself is about 730 km from Leh. Hence, the region requires commuter services to offer smooth travel with other neighbouring regions.

4. On the completion of this railway line, the areas between Bilaspur and Leh such as Manali, Upshi,Mandi, Sundernagar, Koksar, Keylong, Karu, Darcha as well as other important towns of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir will get seamless railway connectivity.

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