J&K Lt Guv reviews progress on Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla railway line

Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha on Saturday held a review meeting of the 272-km long Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail line, being built at a cost of Rs 27,949 crores, at Civil Secretariat here.

During the meeting, the Lt Governor was informed that 161 Km length of the project has been commissioned. He directed the railway authorities to complete the remaining part of the project from Katra to Banihal by August 15, 2022. He assured full support to the executing agencies for the timely completion of the project.

It is pertinent to mention that the world's highest railway bridge with a height of 359 metres is coming up on river Chenab under the project. Similarly, India's first cable-stayed railway bridge on Anji Nallah in Reasi district is also coming up along the link.

Sinha also directed the railway authorities to expand the rail link towards unconnected areas of Rajouri-Poonch and Kupwara region as well.

On this, the Railways' officers informed that preliminary survey for 223-km long Jammu-Poonch rail link at an estimated cost of Rs 22,768 crores was completed and submitted in 2017, and for 39-km long Baramulla-Kupwara rail link with an estimated cost of Rs 3,843 crores, the survey has been completed and submitted to the Railway Board in July 2020.

He asked the Railways to prepare Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of both the projects to take up the matter with the Ministry of Finance for sanctioning funds of these projects.

The Railway authorities requested the Lt Governor to resolve the issue of the non-availability of minor minerals in the Ramban district. Sinha has issued on spot directions to Director Geology & Mining and Deputy Commissioner Ramban to issue short term permits for the railway to procure essential construction material without any hassle.

Sinha further asked the Railways to run 'Vista Dome' coaches in Kashmir to attract tourists and offer them a better view of the scenic Kashmir Valley, once the COVID situation normalises.

On the intervention of Lt Governor, the Railways agreed to run local train service between Kathua and Udhampur to benefit local commuters. The local train service will be started once the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

It was informed that on the request of the Union Territory administration, the Railways have agreed to construct a rail overbridge at its own cost near Madhopur, to decongest traffic between Pathankot and Lakhanpur.

Sinha urged the Railways and Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) for launching a single-ticket travel facility to provide travellers with the opportunity of travelling from Kashmir to Kanyakumari via train and bus. It has been decided that the service would be started after the coronavirus situation normalises.

The Lt Governor directed the Divisional Commissioner of Jammu to identify projects to be taken up by the Railways under Corporate Social Responsibility in the region.

The meeting was attended by Chairman Railway Board, Vinod Kumar Yadav; Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Kewal Kumar Sharma; Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam and General Manager Northern Railways, Rajiv Chaudhary, besides Administrative Secretaries, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, IGP Jammu, Deputy Commissioner Reasi, DC Ramban and other senior officials from the Indian Railways, IRCON, Konkan Railways Corporation Limited.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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