hybrid tunnels
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suggested the Ministry of Railways to build hybrid tunnels in mountain terrains for railway lines which can also be used as roads. About seven tunnels are being built for the under-construction railway line from Bhanupali in Punjab to Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh.

He told the Railways Ministry that in future while making tunnels in hilly areas for railway projects, a hybrid system should be devised so that apart from a railway track, tunnels can also be used as roads. Such road-rail tunnels shared by road and rail lines are more economical. Currently, no such tunnel exists in India while some exist abroad. India has constructed long road and rail tunnels separately in the mountainous regions, like the 8.8 km long Atal Highway Tunnel near Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh and the 11-km-long Pir Panjal Railway tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Prime Minister also reviewed the 65-km long Bhanupali-Bilaspur-Beri railway line project in Himachal Pradesh and fixed deadlines for Punjab and HP governments for land acquisition and expediting the project. A further 498-km long rail line from Bilaspur to Leh is also being planned, which would be the highest railway line in the country.