Manmohan inaugurates key railway link in Jammu and Kashmir

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the Railways had faced considerable difficulty on account of the challenges posed by the region’s topography.

Published: 27th June 2013 08:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th June 2013 09:02 AM   |  A+A-

PM2PTI

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi jointly inaugurated the Banihal-Qazigund rail link here on Wednesday.

The 11 km-long rail line was built at a cost of Rs 1,096 crore. Crucially, the rail connectivity will cut the road travel distance between the two towns by 18 km.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said the Centre had gifted an engineering marvel to Jammu and Kashmir.

Congratulating the people of the state and the railway personnel who worked on the project, Manmohan said the Railways had faced considerable difficulty on account of the challenges posed by the region’s topography.

The PM said the railway link will connect Kashmir with the rest of the country and will also generate employment to the people of the state.  “This will link the Kashmir Valley to the progress (achieved) in the rest of India. We will link this to the rest of the rail network.”

Manmohan also urged the railway authorities to complete the remaining projects in the state in quick time.

“I urge the Railways to complete the work on the Chenab bridge as quickly as possible so that we have an all-weather link to Kashmir,” he said.

Later, the PM along with a group of school children went on a train journey through the 11-km long tunnel under the Pir Panjal mountain ranges.

And he interacted with the students,majority of whom were travelling onboard a train for the first time in their lives.

He asked one of the girl students seated next to him whether she had travelled by train earlier, to which she replied in the negative.

Besides Manmohan and Sonia, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah; state Governor N N Vohra; Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge were present on the occasion. The Prime Minister, after inaugurating the railway line, left for Udhampur.

Meanwhile, the Railways will start its regular service -- the Banihal to Baramulla train which will have a total of eight coaches -- on the newly-inaugurated stretch from Thursday.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp