Centre approves Rs 19,000 cr for Valley rail project
Funds To Be Used For Laying Tracks From Katra To Qazigund
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Jan 4: The Central government Wednesday approved a proposal to sanction over Rs 19,000 crore for the Udhampur - Baramulla rail project that was announced over 17 years ago to connect Kashmir Valley with Jammu.
The approval was given at a meeting of the Union Cabinet, official sources said, adding that the fund will be utilized for building rail tracks from Katra in Jammu to Qazigund. The deadline for completion of the project is 2017.
Sources said the delay in completion of the 290-km railway project has led to cost escalation, necessitating sanction of more money.
Work on the 119-km Qazigund-Baramulla track was completed in 2009. It is still underway on Udhampur-Katra and Katra - Qazigund sections and the deadline for completion of the two sections have been set at 2013 and 2017 respectively.
Stressing on the need for speedy completion of the Kashmir Rail project, Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra had yesterday said the link shall have a “revolutionary” impact on the economy of the state.
He said this during a meeting with B D Garg, CAO (Construction), Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday. The project took a significant leap on October 14 last year with the completion of excavation work of 11 km long tunnel, the longest in the country, underneath the rugged Pir Panchal mountains.
The Pir Panchal tunnel, which constitutes a vital link between Udhampur and Qazigund of the national project, runs below the existing Jawahar road tunnel and promises to reduce the traveling distance between Banihal and Qazigund from 35 km to only 11 km.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had dedicated the first phase of the project between Jammu and Udhampur (53 km) to the nation in April 2005 while the 119 km-long Qazigund-Srinagar- Baramulla stretch was commissioned in 2009.
The project has had a long history but serious progress was made only after it was declared a National Project in 2002. The original scheduled date of completion was August 15, 2007. However, several complications pushed back the final completion target to 2017 at the earliest.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 4 Jan 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 4 Jan 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Jan 2012 00:00:00 IST
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