Udhampur-Qazigund Rail Link By 2017: Omar25 February 2011
Srinagar: Kashmir will be connected by the railway line with rest of the country by 2017 and Katra-the base camp of Mata Vaishnodevi shrine by 2013. “Rail line (from Udhampur to Srinagar) date is given in 2017. Banihal-Qazigund day break this year December and line opening in 2013. Now let’s wait and see”, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said in a re-tweet on a review meeting of railway and national highway projects here Friday. Taking appraisal of the status of the two projects at a high-level meeting here today, Omar further re-tweeted to say “Katra now targeted for 2013 along with Banihal”. Chief Minister emphasized on timely completion of the railway projects to realise the cherished goal of modern and dependable communication in the state. The meeting was informed that the estimated cost of the project is Rs 19565 crores, of which Rs 6844 crore have been spent. The outlay for 2010-11 is of the order of Rs 1000 crore. The 119-km Qazigund-Baramulla section with 15 stations, 63 major bridges, 748 minor bridges has been completed and commissioned. The work on 25-km Udhampur-Katra section is on. It envisages 9 major bridges and 29 minor bridges, construction of 7 tunnels with a total length of 10.90-km and there will be three stations in this section. The outstanding feature of construction in this stretch is an 85-meter tall pier of a bridge at Jhazzar Khad on Udhampur-Katra section which will be 13 meters taller than Qutub Minar (72 meters). This pier will form part of the largest single span of 154 meter bridge on Indian Railways. The meeting was informed that the 129 Katra-Qazigund section of the railway project envisages construction of 9 stations, boring of 36 tunnels of the length of 105-kms. The December 2011 is the target for boring of 11.17-km longest transportation tunnel between Banihal at Qazigund in Pir Panchal range. Chief Minister also reviewed the progress of 4-laning of Srinagar-Jammu highway. “Coordinated efforts by the state and national agencies are required to push forward construction of highway from Lakhanpur to Srinagar”, he said. It was stated that out of the 400 KM highway project, a part of North-South corridor, 114 KM road stretch from Lakhanpur to Jammu including 15 KM Jammu Bye-pass and 17.80 KM Srinagar Bye-pass is under progress at a cost of Rs 592 crores. The balance work from Jammu to Srinagar comprising of 6 BOT packages is under various stages of execution. The major structures in these packages include two tunnels of 9.2 KMs and 8.5 KMs length besides 12 numbers of short tunnels of 6.2 KMs length. As many as 43 major bridges and 24 viaducts are being constructed under these packages on the Jammu-Srinagar stretch of the road project. It was stated that the work on first package unit of 67.76 KMs from Srinagar to Banihal would start in May 2011 while the work on 15.25 KMs Qazigund-Banihal tunnel constituting second package would commence in March 2011. The work on 12 KM Chenani-Nashri tunnel is on launching pad while the work on 65 KM Udhampur-Jammu road stretch would be started by March 2011. The 36 KM Banihal-Ramban stretch and 43 KM Ramban-Udhampur are under re-bidding process.