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PM to inaugurate Jammu-Udhampur rail line

Press Trust of India

Posted: Nov 13, 2004 at 1528 hrs IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will dedicate to the nation 53 km-long Jammu-Udhampur rail line during his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir beginning November 17, Railway Ministry sources said.

The track has been built at a cost of over Rs. 4,000 crore over a period of more than 20 years on a very difficult terrain, the sources told PTI in Delhi.

The line has been ready since March, 2004 and trial runs of trains were going on, they said, adding that the Prime Minister would be formally inaugurating the line heralding an era of prosperity and growth for the Udhampur region.

Besides being constructed in the difficult and hilly terrain, another significant feature of the line was that the railway bridge on Rive Gambhir was 70 metre higher than the Qutub Minar, they said.

Meanwhile, they said security has been beefed up by coordinating efforts of the Central and State governments to ensure hassle-free movement of trains in adddition to security of passengers.

Added to this, the 25-km-long Udhampur-Katra new broadgauge line is progressing as per the target and by March, 2005 train services would be extended upto Katra. Udhampur-Baramulla has 293 kms long railway line.

The 120 kms Katra-Qazigund railway line is the most difficult terrain and accomplishment of building a rail line was equally difficult proposition which would be completed by August 15, 2007.

The 140 kms-long Qazigund-Srinagar-Baramulla new broadgauge line is progessing as per the target and train services were expected to run on this route by December, 2005.

To achieve the objectives within the targeted period, Indian Railways have tied up with the Ministry of Defence to airlift passenger coaches from Integral Coach Factory, Chennai and diesel locomotive engines from Varanasi.

Since, India did not have such an aircraft to lift the coaches and diesel engines, it has sought the services of Kazakhstan government to airlift them from its An-124 planes.

The total cost of the project was approximately Rs. 5,500 crores and would be fully funded by the national exchequer since it has been declared a national project.

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