Press Trust of India

Kashmir will get connected with Kanyakumari by rail: PM

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Jammu: The day is not far when Kashmir will be connected with Kanyakumari by rail, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday as he commissioned a newly completed 48.1-km stretch of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project.

The 272-km USBRL is being commissioned in phases — the 118-km Qazigund-Baramulla section was done in October 2009, the 18-km Banihal-Qazigund section in June 2013 and the 25-km Udhampur-Katra section in July 2014.

Development works are happening simultaneously, unlike in the past when work was done in the rest of India but its benefits were either not available to the people of Jammu and Kashmir or were made available very late, the prime minister said here while addressing a public rally.

“Tuesday new airports are being built across the country. Jammu and Kashmir is also not behind. Tuesday the expansion work of the Jammu airport has started. The dream of connecting Kashmir to Kanyakumari by rail has also moved forward Tuesday with the commissioning of the (48.1-km) section between Baramulla and Sangaldan,” he said.

Officials said the work on the Katra-Sangaldan section is likely to be completed by May or June.

Prime Minister Modi said that “the day is not far when people will be able to travel across the country by taking a train from Kashmir”.

“Tuesday such a big campaign for electrification of the railways is going on in the entire country, and this region has got a big benefit from it,” said Modi, who also flagged off the first electric train in Kashmir from Baramulla to Sangaldan.

This is going to help a lot in keeping pollution down, he highlighted.

He said when a modern train service in the form of ‘Vande Bharat’ was started in the country, one of its initial routes was in Jammu and Kashmir. “We made it easier to reach the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine (at Katra in Jammu) and I am happy that two Vande Bharat trains are presently running on this route,” Modi said.

The prime minister, who also inaugurated many roads and laid the foundation for new ones, said road-connectivity across Jammu and Kashmir, including in villages, cities and national highways, has been given due priority.

“The second phase of the Srinagar Ring Road on completion will make it easier for people to visit the Manasbal Lake and the Kheerbhawani temple, while the completed works on the Srinagar-Baramulla-Uri highway will benefit farmers and the tourism sector,” he said.

He said the expansion of the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway will further improve connectivity and the travel between Jammu and Delhi will become easies.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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