Uri, Aug 4: The Uri town in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district is at the brink of transformation as the Northern Railway has been granted permission to conduct a survey for the much-anticipated Baramulla-Uri railway line.
This development has infused a renewed sense of hope and excitement among the locals who see this railway line as a pathway to connect not only geographically, but culturally and economically too.
“For decades, Uri's identity has been closely tied to the cross-border tensions in the region. However, this impending railway connection promises to shift the narrative towards the town’s rich tourism potential and unique cultural heritage,” said Bashir Ahmad, a local.
As the Uri town on the banks of River Jhelum gets set to embrace modern connectivity, locals are anticipating a wave of positive changes.
Muhammad Shafi, a local, shared his optimism, saying, “With this railway line, Uri’s story will transcend beyond its history of being victim of cross border shelling. We envision a future where Uri becomes synonymous with its vibrant culture and burgeoning tourism.”
The Northern Railways officials received the permission from the Baramulla District Magistrate to carryout the drone survey for the project, marking a significant step towards its realisation.
The survey, set to begin with an innovative drone mapping process, highlights the project’s forward-looking approach.
Block Development Council (BDC) Uri Chairman, Muhammad Rafiq Balote said that this railway connectivity would not only breathe new life into the local economy but also unlock the vast tourism potential of the region.
"Our walnuts are renowned across India," Balote said, “The train will enable us to share our produce with markets nationwide, boosting our local economy."
The town's breathtaking landscape, nestled among the majestic Pir Panjal hills, is now poised to attract travellers directly via the railway link.
A local shopkeeper echoed the sentiments of other Uri residents saying, “After years of turmoil, it’s time for Uri’s natural beauty to take centre stage. The railway link will be a gateway for tourists to discover this hidden gem.”
The newfound connectivity also opens doors for religious tourism, showcasing shrines and temples that hold significant cultural and spiritual value.
From the revered Hazrat Pir Gaffor Shah Gazi in Kamalkote to the spiritual haven of Ziyarat Hazrat Baba Farid in Gharkote besides the Datta Mandir in Uri, all are ready to welcome travellers seeking a deeper connection.
As Uri embarks on this transformative journey, the town's residents hold a united belief in the power of progress and unity.
With the ceasefires fostering a peaceful environment and the administration’s dedicated efforts towards tourism, the railway link represents a beacon of hope, signaling a brighter and more prosperous future for Uri and its residents.