Poonh-Rajouri rail line, a welcome project
The government of India has agreed to construction of Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch rail line and will be keeping budgetary provision for Rs 2370 crore in the upcoming railway budget to give national project the final shape. The project of connecting Poonch-Rajouri to Jammu via a rail line was pending since the past several years now.
The Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch railway line was important from strategic point of view also, like Baramulla-Kupwara, as it will connect the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch.
The project has a total cost of Rs 2370 crore and the Railways Minister was likely to keep budgetary provision for it in the next Railway budget, which will be treated as official approval of the project.
As per the proposal of the Railways Ministry, the Jammu-Poonch railway line will pass through Akhnoor, Kaleeth, DoriDager, ChowkiChowra-Bhambla, Sunderbani, Rajouri and Poonch.
The project, which will have a total rail length of 234.12 kilometers, will be constructed in about three years. The rail project was initially conceived in 2012 during the tenure of UPA-II by then Railways Minister Mukul Roy, who had declared it as ‘national project. However, no major focus was paid on the project thereafter except for holding surveys.
Needless to add that all the areas that are being connected through this line are going to be economically benefitted right from laying of the line up to the actual running of trains. People would definitely get a sense and the taste of development that has otherwise been eluding them.
Rajouri and Poonch areas have the worse of road networks and every now and then we are witnessing road mishaps in these areas as lots of lives are lost during these mishaps, besides hundreds of others are left paralyzed for life.
The brighter view of the sanctioning of the railways link, which had been a major demand from the belt of the proposed railway line would be the ultimate relief it will bring for the beneficiaries or the people of the areas living along the proposed line.
One encouraging development in respect of the project is that the preliminary but most important part of the entire exercise, that of survey has been completed and routes also finalised. The survey has described the project as feasible since it was going to benefit large segments of people living in Rajouri and Poonch districts.
To give a further boost to infrastructural development in the State, Central Government has further approved Rs. 5100 crore worth Jammu- Akhnoor- Nowshera- Rajouri- Poonch National Highway. Even work on Jammu-Akhnoor section has already begun and in respect of rest of the distance, the work shall start very shortly.
The area of Rajouri and Poonch needs a well connected network of roads and if the two projects, rail and road network is taken seriously and completed within the stipulated time frame, it will spell a new era of development in the region.