New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir’s new Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday reviewed the progress of the work on the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla railway line with railway officials, who told him that the ambitious project would be completed by August 2022.
The 272-km railway line would cost Rs 27,949 crore.
The meeting held at the Civil Secretariat here was also attended by Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav, L-G’s Adviser KK Sharma, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and Northern Railway General Manager Rajiv Chaudhary, besides other senior officials from the Indian Railways, IRCON, and Konkan Railways Corporation Limited.
The Lt Governor was told that 161 km of the total length of the project has been commissioned.
Sinha, who was Minister of State for Railways in the Modi government during its previous term, directed railway authorities to complete the remaining part of the project from Katra to Banihal by August 15, 2022.
Sinha assured of full support to the executing agencies for its timely completion.
The world’s highest railway bridge at a height of 359 metres is coming up on river Chenab under this project. Similarly, India’s first cable-secured railway bridge on Anji Nallah in Reasi is also coming up on the route.
The Lt Governor directed the railway authorities to extend the rail link towards unconnected areas of Rajouri-Poonch and Kupwara region.
The railway officers said that a preliminary survey for 223-km Jammu-Poonch rail link at an estimated cost of Rs 22,768 crore had been completed and submitted in 2017, whereas the survey for the 39-km Baramulla-Kupwara rail link at an estimated cost of Rs 3,843 crore had been completed and submitted to the Railway Board in July 2020.
Sinha asked the railways to prepare DPRs of both the projects so that the matter could be taken up with the Ministry of Finance for funds for these projects.
The authorities also requested Sinha to resolve the issue of non-availability of minor minerals in Ramban district.
In response, Sinha directed Director Geology and Mining and Ramban Deputy Commissioner to issue short-term permits so that the railways could procure essential construction material without any hassles.