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No regular train services on Kangra valley rail line

No regular train services on Kangra valley rail line

Two years back, seven trains plied on the route every day. File photo



Ravinder Sood

Palampur, April 10

The Indian Railways has failed to start regular train services on the Kangra valley rail line. The train services on this track were suspended two years ago when a bridge on the Chakki bank collapsed during the monsoon. Though the bridge on the Chakki river is under construction, the work is going on at a snail’s pace and can take another two years to complete. Earlier, the Railways introduced train services between Nurpur and Paprola, but these were also discontinued after some time.

It may be noted that the Indian Railways has not added even one brick to this track in the past 92 years. A number of plans drawn up to convert this narrow gauge line into a broad gauge line have remained confined to the files. The Kangra valley has witnessed a manifold increase in the population and tourist traffic in the past 25 years but the Railways have failed to come up to the expectations of the locals and tourists.

Most of the railway station buildings and residential quarters are on the verge of collapse in the absence of proper repair and maintenance. The condition of the rail tracks has also turned from bad to worse in past few years, so no high speed or express trains have been introduced on this track. When it comes to the trains, in most of the coaches, fans and lights are not functional.

Two years back, seven trains plied on this route every day — covering 33 stations — passing through important towns such as Nurpur, Jwali, Jwalamukhi road, Kangra, Nagrota Bagwan, Chamunda, Palampur, Baijnath and Jogindernagar, which are some of the major tourist centres.

The Kangra valley narrow gauge railway line, which plays a significant role in the economy of this region, is in a bad shape, mainly due to the apathy of the Indian Railways, which has made no efforts to convert this 120-km track into a broad gauge line.

The British had laid this railway line in 1932 to link all important and religious towns of Kangra and part of the Mandi district. It is stated that the main objective to lay this track was to carry heavy equipment for the installation of the first-ever hydroelectric powerhouse of North India at Jogindernagar.

#Kangra #Monsoon #Palampur


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