Keeping in view the recent threats from China and the intrusion of Chinese troops into the Indian Territory, BJP leader and former Chief Minister and Union Minister Shanta Kumar demanded for the early execution of the Jogindernagar-Leh rail line project.
He said in the present circumstances, the government should give top priority to linking Leh and Ladakh by a rail network. In a press communiqué, Shanta Kumar said he had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in December 2012, apprising him that China had already expanded its rail and road networks up to Lhasa in Tibet and Arunachal, whereas in the past 40 years India had not added even a single brick for the expansion rail or road networks up to the Tibet border.
Shanta Kumar said at present there was negligible road network to Leh, which was accessible only for four months in a year. Most of the defence supplies were lifted by air from Chandigarh and other places, putting huge financial burden on the exchequer.
He said at present crores of rupees were spent by the Ministry of Defence for the movement of troops and supplies to Leh and other forward areas, the same could be saved if the rail track was laid for Leh. He said the state government had already assured the Union government of extending full cooperation for the speedy execution of the project.