New Delhi: The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link has generated five crore man-days of employment so far, the railways said on Wednesday.
Once completed, the rail link will connect Kashmir Region with the rest of India.
Construction of the first three phases of the project has been completed and the line is in operational use for the running of trains between Baramulla-Banihal in Kashmir Valley and Jammu-Udhampur-Katra in the Jammu Region.
The work on the intervening 111-km section between Katra and Banihal, the most arduous and treacherous portion due to its geology and extensive riverine system replete with deep gorges, is ongoing.
The project has brought in employment, prosperity, and connectivity to the people, the railways said, adding the backward districts of Reasi and Ramban have especially benefitted from the project.
"Medical, educational, market, and business activities have become easily reachable for the people. The cost of construction of the 111-km Katra-Banihal section so far has been Rs 30,672.34 crore," the railways said in a statement.
The railways have also offered jobs to those landowners who have provided over 75 percent of their land for the project and 799 such eligible people have been given jobs.
"Around 14,069 people have been employed contractors and about 65 percent of those employed were locals. More than 500 lakh man-days of employment have been generated so far," the statement said.
Under the project, the railways have also built more than 205-km-long approach roads, including one tunnel and 320 bridges.
This has provided connectivity to 73 villages in far-flung areas, the railways said.
Earlier, these roads were accessible only by foot or boats, now four-wheelers can ply on them, it said.
The railways said that various activities are also being conducted under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) like providing nine ambulances in Ramban District, 15 motorised wheelchairs, and free medical camps held in Banihal, Ramban, and Reasi.