Solan, May 5
The Northern Railways has finally floated tenders for the much-delayed Chandigarh-Baddi rail link and a 24-month deadline has been set for laying the line after the award of contract.
Will boost industry
- The link will boost industry in Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh industrial hub
- The BBN belt houses about 2,200 industries and the rail link will especially benefit export units
- About 30 hectares, of total 38.701 needed, acquired and Rs 142 cr relief disbursed
Sanctioned in 2007-08, the broad gauge project has been delayed mainly due to acquisition issues and Haryana’s refusal to pool in resources.
- 27.95 km rain link’s length
- 3.05 km of it in Himachal
- 24.9 km stretch in Haryana
- Rs 1,672.70 cr estimated cost
About 30 hectares of land, of the 38.701 needed, has been acquired from various villages, including Saraj Majra, Shitalpur, Kalyanpur, Chak-Jangi, Landewal, Kenduwal, Billanwali, Gujran, Hariour Sandholi and Sandholi, in Baddi industrial area. A compensation of Rs 142 crore has been disbursed to land owners.
Once completed, the link will connect Himachal Pradesh’s industrial hub of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN) with the Amritsar-Kolkata corridor, which is expected to further boost industrialisation in the hill state. A sum of Rs 450 crore was allocated for the project in this year’s Budget, paving way for its construction.
Sanctioned in 2007-08, the broad gauge project has been delayed due to various reasons, including high acquisition cost and Haryana’s refusal to pool in resources.
The Ministry of Railways had notified the link as a special project in 2019 to speed up acquisition. The rail line would be 27.95 km long, with 3.05 km stretch falling in Himachal and the rest 24.9 km in Haryana. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 1,672.70 crore, with 50 per cent share being borne each by the state and the Centre.
“A sum of Rs 179 crore has been granted by Himachal so far and the remaining will be disbursed as and when required,” said Ajay Sharma, Managing Director, Rapid Transport System Corporation.
The BBN belt houses about 2,200 industries and the rail line will especially benefit export-oriented units for speedier transportation of goods. Himachal’s 89 per cent industry is confined to this industrial cluster.
The issue of local transport unions monopolising freight would also be addressed, said investors. The link would also enhance the utilisation of the inland container depot, which was yet to be optimally utilised, said Sandeep Verma, vice-president of BBN Industries Association.