17 yrs on, Udhampur-Baramulla rail line still incomplete
Srinagar, June 18: The Udhampur-Baramulla railway line project which was announced 17 years ago is yet to be completed.
A look at the 290-kilometre railway project known as Udhampur- Srinagar -Baramulla railway line reveals that the work over the years had been marred by the delays and faults, after its announcement in 1994 by then Union Railway Minister. The project cost was estimated to be about Rs 19000 crores.
With Baramulla-Qazigund track completed 3 years ago, the work on the crucial Udhampur-Katra and Katra-Qazigund sections is still underway with 2013 and 2017 being set as deadlines respectively.
The work on 119-kilometer Qazigund-Baramulla track was finished in 2009. First the Qazigund-Budgam track was thrown open in 2008 and a year later it was extended to north Kashmir’s Baramulla town.
“There are very bleak chances about Katra-Qazigund track being completed by 2017 as the work is going on at a very slow pace. The work on the project was suspended many times in the past owing to numerous factors,” a Railway official told Greater Kashmir.
The delay in construction of railway line has disappointed the politicians, businessmen and others.
“It is mockery that the project has not been completed despite three Prime Ministers of India laying foundation stone for it. I have raised the issue of delay in its completion in the Parliament. I said on the floor of the House that absence of physical link widens gap between Centre and Kashmir,” said National Conference Member Parliament from south Kashmir, Dr Mehboob Beg.
Former president of Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Shakeel Qalandar, said the promises of train connecting Kashmir Valley with Jammu have proved to be a hoax.
When contacted, Chief Administrative Officer of Northern Railways, Chahtey Ram, said the work on both the sections is underway. “We are expecting to complete the Udhampur-Katra section by December 2012. We have finished the work except tunnel number one where we are doing rectification work and boring a bypass tunnel,” he said.
“Work on Katra-Qazigund track is also on and will be completed within the set deadline,” he added.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 18 Jun 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 18 Jun 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 19 Jun 2011 00:00:00 IST
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