Srinagar: Asserting that the ambitious Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link project held significance for the entire country, union Minister of State for Railways, Darshana Jardosh on Saturday said 80 per cent of work on the project has been completed.
The minister stated this while addressing a press conference at the Srinagar Railway Station and added that the project is a “game changer” for Railways and the entire country.
"The rest of the 20 per cent work on the project will be completed soon. We will be meeting the deadline of 2023 for the project,” Jardosh said.
Commenting on how the project will also be vital for Ladakh and other border areas of J&K, Jardosh said work on the USBRL project was “going in full swing” and will “benefit everyone”. She said despite “climatic challenges and other extreme conditions such as the topography, work on the USBRL project was being undertaken with a lot of enthusiasm”. The minister said compensation had been provided to 75 per cent of the cases in lieu of their land acquired for the project.
“The compensation in form of jobs has been provided to those whose above 75 per cent land has been utilised for the project. Rest of the people have been provided financial compensation” Jardosh said. The minister said compensation to those who suffered damages due to blasting of rocks will be provided soon after a Committee submits its report. “In some cases there has been some damage caused due to the blasting of mountains . We have constituted a committee that will submit its report after which rest of the compensation will be provided” Jardosh said.
The minister said on an average 1.5 kilometer daily work was being completed on the tunnel on the USBRL project.
Jardosh said the glass-roofed Vistadome coach brought to Kashmir for ferrying holidaymakers is not into use right now. However, she said efforts were being made to find out the commercial usage of such coaches. “We are trying to find out how we can utilise these Vistadome coaches in a commercial way” Jardosh said.
The minister said following Covid guidelines was the top priority of the Railways. “We are stressing that passengers who board the trains should be vaccinated and all SOPs are followed on the railway stations” Jardosh said.