A final location survey for a broad-gauge single-track railway connectivity of Char Dham in Uttarakhand will commence on May 13, the Railway Ministry said on Thursday.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will lay the foundation stone of the project at Badrinath in Uttarakhand on Friday.

The Char Dham project, estimated to cost Rs 43,292 crore, will link the famous Hindu pilgrimage centres of Badrinath, Kedranath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri through Dehradun and Karanprayag by a 327-km rail track.

The Railway Ministry said the project has been undertaken by the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), a public sector undertaking under the ministry.

According to a Reconnaissance Engineering Survey (REC) conducted by RVNL, there will be 21 new stations, 61 tunnels, and 59 bridges on the route.

The Railways said all four places of pilgrimage have varied and distinctive elevations.

The Yamunotri, the origin of the Yamuna river, is situated 3,293 metres above the mean sea level; Gangotri, the origin of the Ganga, is 3,408 metres above the sea level. Kedarnath, famous for the shrine of Lord Shiva, is at 3,583 metres altitude and Badrinath, famous for the shrine of Lord Vishnu, is at 3,133 metres.

The REC took up the project in 2014-15 and submitted a report in October 2015.

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