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Indian Railways puts Udhampur-Baramulla project on fast track

Wednesday, 21 Aug 2019
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The Indian Railways has put the Udhampur-Baramulla project in Jammu and Kashmir on the fast track. The project is expected to be commissioned by 2021-22, and world’s highest railway-arch bridge over River Chenab will be completed by mid- 2020.

 

The project is now being directly monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office for its faster completion. Its commissioning was earlier targeted for 2020, but the project got delayed.

Of the 272 km Udhampur-Baramulla rail line, nearly 111 km stretch between Katra and Banihal is incomplete. This stretch has around 97 km of tunnels and includes a 359 mtr high bridge on Chenab. Around 80 percent of the Chenab bridge is complete. The railway line is key to the upcoming development plans for the Valley.

The Chenab rail bridge, estimated to cost Rs 1,250 crore, will be the gateway of the Valley, connecting it with the rest of the country and helping in faster movement of security forces, as well as finished products.

The Indian Railways has used special quality structural steel in the construction of the bridge, which needs a high degree of precision and latest welding technology. The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link was sanctioned way back in 1994-95 and declared a national project in July 2002.

A 25 km line between Udhampur and Katra and a 136 km stretch between Banihal and Baramulla have already been commissioned, while the only remaining stretch is the Katra-Banihal section. This section is considered to be the world’s toughest stretch with 27 bridges and 37 tunnels.

The Central government has also surveyed for the completion of a new 39 km broad-gauge line between Baramulla and Kupwara, which is expected to cost around Rs 628 crore.

 
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