Mufti, Nitish inspect construction sites
20 June 2003
The Times of India
THE KASHMIR TIMES
SRINAGAR: Srinagar Railway station would be completed by March 2004, Union Minister for Railways Nitish Kumar today said adding that Rs. 450 crore double lane railway track from Jalandhar to Jammu has been sanctioned work for which is being taken in hand within a fortnight. The long awaited Jalandhar-Jammu double lane railway track is likely to be completed by 2007 linking it with the targeted date of completion of the prestigious Udhampur-Baramulla railway project. Nitish Kumar, who is on a 2-day visit to the state to personally monitor the execution of the railway project, was inspecting the construction work of Srinagar Railway Station at Nowgam, the first railway station to be completed within one year. Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed accompanied the Union Minister during his inspection early this morning. Nitish Kumar said that with the completion of double line Jalandhar-Jammu railway track the infrastructural constraints for introducing more trains to the state would be overcome. Talking to media persons at the under construction Srinagar railway station, the Railway Minister said that the Rs. 6 crore project with four platforms is being developed in such a way that it will become a source of attraction for tourists. He said it will have a beautiful landscaping, vast green patching and restaurant on the top floor over looking the entire area. He said 85 per cent work on the station had been completed and with the completion of Qazigund-Baramulla stretch by 15th August 2005, the train service within the valley will commence. Apart from providing faster and convenient mode of communication within the valley arrangements would also be made for operating trains to take the tourists to places of tourist interest. He said the Srinagar railway station will have coach maintenance facilities as well. Expressing satisfaction over the accelerated pace of execution, the Railway Minister said the project has contributed tremendously to boost the economic activity in the valley. He said the Railway Ministry is working out a scheme for giving employment to those whose land has been acquired. He said those roads that would be damaged due to the execution of railway project would not only be repaired but upgraded with new technology. The Union Minister also disclosed that survey work on 90 km Chenab-Banihal stretch, the most difficult terrain, would commence soon. Thanking the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for extending cooperation in expeditious acquisition of land, major impediment in the execution of work, he disclosed that over Rs. 450 crore have been disbursed in the valley as land compensation. The Chief Minister said that he is happy that the dream of train coming to valley is becoming a reality. He said the state government would do everything possible to see that no impediment come in the way of execution of this prestigious project and it is completed on the targeted date. He gave suggestions to the Railway Ministry for beautification of Srinagar Railway Station and its approaches. Later, the Railway Minister flew to Katra where he launched the excavation work of the first tunnel of 140 km long Katra-Qazigund stretch. With this, the work on this stretch has also started. The stretch has 90 km long tunnels and 14 km long bridges. This stretch is considered to be the toughest one for Indian Railways. The Union Minister also inspected 3.5 km long tunnel at Udhampur. Other works he inspected include Tawi and Gambir bridges on Jammu-Udhampur stretch. On the 120 km Qazigund-Baramulla stretch, work on creating embankment on 42 km stretch is on advanced stage of completion. As a result of expediting land acquisition work, another 60 km stretch would be available for taking up work of embankment for laying track. This stretch will have 15 stations and 400 bridges and would be completed by15th August 2005. At Nowgam village, the local people also met the Chief Minister and Union Railway Minster and brought to their notice the condition of the roads. Mufti Sayeed ordered the Divisional Commissioner,Kashmirto take up the work of construction of road for the villagers. Instructions were also given for redressing the grievances of the people on account of drinking water supply. The Railway authorities assured that approach road would be upgraded after the construction work of Srinagar Station is completed. The Union Minister was accompanied by B. S. Sudhir Chander, Member Railway Board and R. K. Singh, General Manager, Northern Railways besides senior officers of IRCON, the executing agency for the project. Divisional Commissioner,Kashmir, Parvez Dewan also accompanied the Chief Minister.