After the Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail project, the demand for another mega rail project in Kumaon region has resurfaced in Uttarakhand.
For the past few years, leaders from various parties in Kumaon region have been resorting to agitations, asking the Centre to start construction of the 154-km-long Bageshwar-Tanakpur rail line for better connectivity and development.
As per 2007 estimates, the cost of this rail project was Rs 2,371 crore. Railway officials claimed that the Planning Commission is now ready to allocate funds in the 12th Five Yar Plan as further delay would lead to escalation of the project cost.
On the other hand, ruling BJP leaders have now locked horns with Congress leaders on the issue. “When Sonia Gandhi comes to Garhwal region, she must not ignore Kumaon region where a similar project is pending for several years now,” said the ruling BJP state president Bishan Singh Chufal.
The Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha has already passed a resolution urging the Centre to start construction work of both Bageshwar-Tanakpur and Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail links, said state parliamentary and planning minister Prakash Pant.
The ruling BJP leaders, who are gearing up for the Assembly polls by harping on the Lokayukta Bill, fear that Congress would take a political mileage through these rail projects.