Train connectivity reaching Kashmir under PM Modi's government

Train connectivity reaching Kashmir under PM Modi's government
File Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK

Srinagar, May 23: Railway connectivity, was an area in which Jammu-Kashmir was lagging behind for years, but under Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre, thumping progress has been made towards connecting the region with the rest of the country. 

In July 2014, after inaugurating the 25-km Udhampur-Katra railway line in July 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the people that Kashmir would be connected and integrated with the rest of the country during his tenure. The present dispensation is all set to fulfil the promise made by PM Modi. By year-end Baramulla in North Kashmir would be connected to Kanyakumari through a railway network. During the first term, PM Modi ensured that the work on the rail link between Katra and Banihal is expedited. While during the second tenure, PM Modi set a deadline for the completion of the railway project that would provide all-weather connectivity to Kashmir.

The foundation stone of the railway project to connect Kashmir with Kanyakumari was laid in 1997. But the work on the project was carried out at a snail's pace. However, under PM Modi, special emphasis was laid on its completion.

According to the officials, till 2014, the Northern Railways used to get only Rs 700-800 crore per year. But, in the 2023-24 Railway Budget, Rs 6,000 crore was allotted for the railway project in J-K.

The railway line connecting Kashmir with Kanyakumari is all set to be completed this year, and the specially designed 'Vande Bharat' trains would also chug in the region by next year.

The work on the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla railway line has entered its final stages. The work on the Chenab, and Anji bridges, and major tunnels is also nearing completion.

The Chenab railway bridge, which is one of the highest bridges in the world, is considered an 'engineering marvel' and is even higher than the Eiffel Tower.

During the manufacturing of these special trains for Kashmir, several aspects have been taken care of including temperature and snow. High-velocity winds, extreme temperature, earthquake-prone areas, hydrological impact -- everything has been studied in detail.

When the BJP-led Centre abrogated J-K's special status on August 5, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised that J-K would get the country's and the world's best facilities and infrastructure.

In the coming days, Northern Railway announced that Uri, the last township in North Kashmir, will also be connected through a rail network.

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