THE AMBITIOUS and strategically crucial project to link mountain-locked Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir with rest of the country by train has moved a step closer to becoming a reality with the Railways finalising the feasibility report.
The first rail link is proposed to be between Leh and Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh and six passenger trains and nine goods trains are planned on the 498 km-long section.
“The feasibility report will be submitted to Railway Ministry for scrutiny,” said a senior Railway Ministry official who wished not to be identified.
The project is strategically crucial as it is part of India’s efforts to improve infrastructure in the border region considering that China has already built a rail link to Tibet. China has also improved connectivity with Pakistan via the Karakoram highway which runs close to the Indian border.
The proposed project came up for discussion at the Army Commanders’ Conference here recently in the context of improving supply lines along the border like China has done.