The Railway authorities have been directed by Sinha to complete the project's remaining part from Katra to Banihal by August 15, 2022.
Indian Railways’ Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link by August 2022? The progress of the much-awaited 272 km-long Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link of Indian Railways was recently reviewed by Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha. The project is likely to be completed by August 15, 2022, according to an official spokesperson said. The spokesperson was quoted in a PTI report saying that the Lt Governor was informed that 161 km length of the project, worth Rs 27,949 crore has already been commissioned. The Railway authorities have been directed by Sinha to complete the project’s remaining part from Katra to Banihal by August 15, 2022. Besides, for the timely completion of the project, he also assured full support to the executing agencies.
Under this project, the world’s highest railway bridge metres is coming up on the Chenab river. It will have a height of 359 metres. While the country’s first cable-stayed railway bridge is also coming up on Anji Nallah in Reasi. The Railway authorities have also been directed to expand the rail link towards the areas of Rajouri-Poonch and Kupwara region that are unconnected.
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According to Railway officials, a preliminary survey for the Jammu-Poonch rail link that is 223 km-long, at a cost of around Rs 22,768 crore, was completed as well as submitted in 2017. While, the survey for the 39 km-long Baramulla-Kupwara rail link with a cost of around Rs 3,843 crores, has been completed as well as submitted to the Railway Board in the month of July this year.
According to the spokesperson, Sinha has asked the national transporter to prepare DPRs of both the projects so that the matter could be taken up with the Finance Ministry for sanctioning of these projects. In order to attract tourists as well as offer them a better view of the scenic Kashmir Valley, the Lt governor also asked Indian Railways to operate vistadome coaches in Kashmir once the COVID-19 situation normalises. On Sinha’s intervention and to benefit local commuters, the national transporter had agreed to run a local train service between Kathua and Udhampur once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
To decongest traffic between Pathankot and Lakhanpur, Indian Railways has agreed to construct a rail over-bridge at its own cost near Madhopur. To offer travellers with an opportunity of going from Kashmir to Kanyakumari via train and bus, Sinha also asked the national transporter and the Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation to launch a single-ticket travel facility. The Lt Governor also directed Jammu’s divisional commissioner to identify projects in the region, to be taken up by the Indian Railways under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).