Jammu: The all weather rail link between Rest of India and the Kashmir valley is a dream coming true likely by 2023.
“The crucial and second longest tunnel, which is six-kilometre long on the Katra-Banihal section near Reasi was ready and is through,” a senior Railway Official here said on Sunday.
He added that the tunnel was completed in 4 years at a cost of over RS 550 crores.
“It is a dream project of Government of India to link Kashmir with rest of the country through all weather rail networks and the dream is likely to be realised by 2023,” an official added.
“Katra-Banihal section of the project is considered to be the toughest in the country’s engineering history,” he added and said that the rail link between Kashmir and rest of the country, includes construction of 27 bridges comprising the tallest rail bridge in the World, 37 tunnels, one of which is the longest in Asia of around 12 km.
“Out of total 111-km Katra-Banihal route, 95-kms will consist of tunnels and bridges,” railway official said.
He further maintained that the railway line, which could become functional in next four years, is being seen as a big development push in the Valley by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.
“Costing over RS 40,000 crore rupees, it will provide all-weather connectivity and will be a cornerstone of the government’s outreach programme in the state,” he maintained.
The official said that once commissioned, the project will connect Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country, which will enable trains to operate between New Delhi and Srinagar in just 14 hours. (UNI)