In an initiative to promote Indian culture and heritage, the Narendra Modi government has decided to bring the historic ‘Ram Setu’, also known as Adam’s Bridge on Indian Railway’s map. The Union government has given approval to the extension of Rameshwaram railway line till Ram Setu.
According to reports, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has given his approval to build a broad gauge line from Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi, which is the starting point of the Ram Setu. The 17-kilometre new railway line will be built at the cost of Rs 208 crore. Dhanushkodi was part of the railway network earlier but the railway station was destroyed during a cyclone that hit the region in 1964. Later, the railway station was abandoned leaving the city unattended.
No governments since have taken any steps to revive the anandoned railway station and develop the ghost town that is an important destination for Hindu pilgrims.
भगवान श्री राम के श्रद्धालुओं को रेलवे कराएगी धनुषकोडि स्थित रामसेतु का दर्शन, रेल लाइन बिछाने का काम होगा जल्द शुरू pic.twitter.com/2jC1IEfQRs
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) December 26, 2018
Reportedly, Indian Railways is intended to start the work on the project very soon. The construction of Rameshwaram-Dhanushkodi line will be a boost for lakhs of pilgrims who plan to visit the historic Ram Setu as the pilgrimage to Rameshwaram only ends after taking a holy dip at Dhanushkodi. Interestingly, the Indian Railways has also planned to restore a rail-cum-sea route to Sri Lanka.
The Narendra Modi government has also reportedly approved the construction of a new bridge on the Pamban channel to replace the 104-year-old Pamban Bridge, which connects Rameswaram to mainland India. The bridge will be constructed at a cost of Rs 250 crore, which is set to have an automatic vertical lift setup, a first in the country, to enable the passage of ships. Currently the Pamban bridge has a manual lifting setup.
Augmenting the construction of the new railway networks to preserve and promote heritage tourist and pilgrimage circuits, the Union government has also introduced ‘Sri Ramayana Express‘ earlier this year, a dedicated train service that will cover all the major locations mentioned in the Hindu epic Ramayana. The special Ramayana Express will take 16 days to cover the Ramayana circuit with making its first stop at Ram’s birthplace Ayodhya, the train will cover major locations like Nandigram, Sitamarhi, Janakpur, Varanasi, Prayag, Chitrakoot, Shringaverpur, Nasik, Hampi and finally Rameshwaram.
The Ramayana Express was flagged off from New Delhi on November 14. The IRCTC is to introduce options for pilgrims to fly to colombo to visit the important destinations connected to Ramayana located in Sri Lanka.
The Indian Railways is also taking unprecedented measures to prepare itself for the upcoming Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj.