Himachal Pradesh Current Affairs
India railways announced its plan to link New Delhi and Ladakh by means of a railway line that will run along the India-China Border. The proposed Bilaspur-Manali-Leh Line would be the world’s highest railway line once launched.
Key Facts of the Project
- The projected cost to construct the 465 km line will be Rs 83,360 crore.
- The railway line will be the world’s highest at 5,360 metres above mean sea level which is comparable to China’s Quinghai-Tibet Railway Line at 2,000 metres.
- The project comprise of 74 tunnels, 124 major bridges, 396 minor bridges and 30 stations on the line.
- Keylong station on the route will be constructed inside a tunnel at the height of 3000 metres which is a first in India.
- Notably, more than half the train route would be covered through tunnels, the longest of which is 27 km. Whole length of the tunnels would be 244 km.
- The route will link crucial locations between Bilaspur and Leh such as Sundernagar, Mandi, Manali, Keylong, Koksar, Darcha, Upshi and Karu as well as several other towns of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.
- After the completion, the railway line will halve the time taken to cover the distance between Delhi and Leh from the current 40 hrs to 20 hrs.
In addition to providing quick all-weather access to the armed forces, the railway line will also enhance tourism in the Ladakh region that is presently connected by road and air. The Ladakh-Himachal areas receives heavy snowfall and the road and air connectivity.
Northern states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Union Territories of Delhi and Chandigarh have agreed to fix uniform tax rates on petroleum products, amid rising fuel prices. Besides, these states and UTs also have agreed to bring uniformity in taxes on liquor and registration of vehicles and transport permit. This decision will lead to increase in government revenue and at the same time curb black marketing. It will also help to curb diversion of trade.
Decision in this regard was taken at meeting finance ministers of five states and officials of UT Chandigarh held in Chandigarh to deliberate on fixing uniform rate of taxes on petrol and diesel. The meeting was initiative of Haryana Finance and Excise and Taxation Minister Captain Abhimanyu.
In this meeting it was decided to bring uniformity in VAT rates on petrol and diesel in order to provide relief to consumers. It was also decided to have uniform policy for state transport so that there should be no loss of revenue from registration and permit fees because of different tax rates.
The participating states also decided to constitute a sub-committee, which would give their recommendation with regard to uniformity in tax rates in next fifteen days. Committee of officials has also been set up for excise and transport, which will send report to their respective state governments on the uniformity of rates.