The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla railway line in Jammu and Kashmir will be a game-changer for the Union Territory and 80 per cent of the work on the project has been completed while the rest will be completed by 2023, Union Minister Darshana Jardosh said on Saturday.
The minister of state for railways is on a visit to Kashmir as part of the Centre's public outreach programme.
"The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail project is very important for us as well as for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the railways. It will be a game-changer for entire Jammu and Kashmir. We will complete the work on it soon. Our endeavour is to complete it by 2023," Jardosh told reporters at the Srinagar Railway Station.
Jardosh said the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project is the most ambitious railway project in India post-Independence and the railways is working at full capacity to meet all deadlines.
She said besides providing relief to the people, the railways network is also of strategic importance from the security point of view especially in a place like Kashmir.
The engineers of the railways are doing a commendable job in meeting the expectations that the people in general and security forces in particular have from it, Jardosh added.
The minister said that Kashmir is a challenging terrain owing to its topography but the railways is fully equipped to meet all challenges with the latest technology and a dedicated workforce.
The project is challenging as the route is mountainous. Several bridges and tunnels had to be made to complete the project, she said.
The minister said she reviewed the progress of work at the ground and the work has been going at a faster pace.
About 80 per cent of the work has been completed and the rest will be completed soon, she added.
Jardosh said jobs have been provided to those who have a land loss of 75 per cent and above and most of the compensation cases have already been completed.
She appealed to the people to keep the surroundings clean, saying there was too much plastic waste here.
Jardosh said the railways is committed to take development to every corner of the country and Kashmir ranks high on the agenda of the central government.
She added that the railways has an important role to play when we talk of Atma Nirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India).
Earlier, the minister visited the Banihal Railway Station by train and took stock of operations there. She inspected the Tunnel T-80 control room and also Tunnel 144.
Jardosh also inspectedthe Navyug Road Tunnel during her visit to Banihal and had a detailed interaction with officers of the National Highways Authority of India.
On her return from Banihal, the minister stopped at the Qazigund Railway Station for a brief inspection.
She also took part in a Swachchhta Awareness Programme at the Srinagar Railway upon her return from her visit to Banihal and Qazigund.