Everything comes with a package of good and bad. The introduction of trains in Uttarakhand is a debatable topic that has both pros and cons.
Travelling is one of the most important aspects of our lives and whenever we plan an outstation tour, the first thing that comes to our mind is train tickets. But then not every part of this country can be reached by train. And when such a situation arises, then the other means of transportation are either not comfortable or not affordable for all. But then installing railway lines in every part of the country is also not possible, especially in the hilly areas. Such is the scenario of Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand is a major tourist destination in India both as a hill station and a pilgrim site. Every year flocks of tourists throng to this beautiful state for holidays and to meet their deities. But reaching Uttarakhand by train is still a far-fetched dream. The trains of Uttrakhand have been confined to plains areas like Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Kathgodam. The hills of this state remain untouched by the rail routes. For long there has been a debate on the development of railways in Uttarakhand. Some people support the idea of development of railways while the others stand against it.
Trains come with a number of benefits. In Uttarakhand, the introduction of trains in hilly areas will surely put an end to a number of problems. The first thing would be that it will increase tourism as travelling by train is easier and comfortable. Right now people need to get down at one of the nearest stations and travel by road. This is a time taking process and causes fatigue to many. For those living in Uttarakhand, life would become trouble free. Transportation of goods can be carried out more conveniently and this will boost trade. People living of the hills can easily reach the market in the towns on time to sell fruits and vegetables. Railways will open many new employment options for the people. This will also control the problem of migration as people can be employed in their home-town.
With so many benefits also come many disadvantages. The ecosystem of Uttarakhand will be the most affected thing. There will be a huge scale of deforestation for laying the rail tracks. The rocks need to be cut down to form paths and make tunnels. The Himalayas in Uttarakhand does not have hard or strong rocks. They are quite soft and any kind of railway construction in this area is not a brave idea. Besides this, the smoke emitted from the trains will surely hamper the environment and spoil the beauty of the hills.
Currently, the government has proposed to lay a 127Kms long railway track between Rishikesh and Karnprayag. This project had been in debate for long. With its introduction, the pilgrims will be the most benefited group of people. The project will cost Rs. 15000 crores. With so many good and bad, it is really very difficult to decide if trains are actually going to do any good to the state of Uttarakhand. The comforts may look very tempting but the shortcomings cannot be ignored. A new chapter in this state definitely will bring changes but it is on us and the government to decide on how these changes need to be dealt with. The advantages cannot be ignored and the limitations cannot be overruled.