World heritage status for Kalka-Shimla track by Nov. next: CM

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Shimla, Sep 13 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbahdra Singht today said his government had taken up the matter of declaring Kalka-Shimla railway track as the world heritage with the Union Minister of Tourism and Railways.

Talking to UNSECO Heritage team, led by Robert Leen who was here to carry out a survey for the railway track, he said, the railway track was completed in the year 1903 and centenary celebrations were held here recently.

Mr Singh said when the British engineers had failed in deciding the proper alignment of the track, services of a local supervisor, Bhalku Ram, were requisitioned which helped them in speedy surveying and construction of the track.

The tunnel boring was a herculian task which was successfully completed with the help of local people, he said, adding that several dignitaries had traveled and appreciated the journey by the narrow gauge train on the Kalka-Shimla track, he said.

The Chief Minister said the track has been well maintained and no change had been incorporated in the original structure since its construction.

Repairs have only been carried out in the original infrastructure, which has been maintained till now, he said.

He said all fittings and other infrastructure was in its original form which qualified the same to be declared the World Heritage.

The declaration of the track as World Heritage would help in promoting tourism in the state, which was universally renowned as the best tourist destination.

IPH Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, Excise and Taxation Minister R R Rao, and several senior state government officials were also present during the meeting.


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