Survey for tracks to China border underway

Indian Railways on Saturday started its final local survey for a 378-km railway network to Tawang on the China border.

Survey work for the Tawang project and two more projects – 248-km North Lakhimpur-Bame-Along-Silapathar line and 227-km Pasighat-Tezu-Parasuramkunda-Rupai line – are scheduled to be completed by October 2020. Once completed, the three projects together are estimated to cost between Rs 60,000 crore and Rs 70,000 crore, said Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, who inaugurated the work in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.

The Tawang project will take the tracks to an elevation of 2669 metres, and would involve construction of several long tunnels and bridges on the eastern Himalayas in western Arunachal Pradesh, he said.

China, meanwhile, asked India to exercise “restraint” on its plan to link the strategic border district of Tawang with a railway network, saying any “unilateral action” might “complicate” the unresolved border issue. “We hope the Indian side can exercise caution, show restraint and refrain from unilateral actions that might further complicate the question so as to create a sound condition for enhancing mutual trust between China and India and promoting proper resolution of the boundary question,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

“China’s position on eastern section of the China-India boundary is consistent and clear. At present, the two sides are working to resolve the territorial dispute through negotiation and consultation,” the ministry told PTI in a written reply following a query.

With inputs from PTI.

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