PM Praises Railway Engineers For Their “Miracle”

KL Report

BANIHAL

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh Wednesday, after inaugurating the Qazigund-Banihal railway line termed it as “an engineering miracle.”

“Struggling the weather and geographical challenges, the railway engineers have done a splendid job for which they are worth congratulations,” the Prime Minister said while speaking at a rally in Banihal.

On the final day of his two-day visit to the state, the prime minister opened nearly 11-km-long tunnel to link the towns of Bannihal and Qazigund in the two regions.

The Prime Minister termed the completion of the project as “a dream come true”. “The dream of linking the valley by train was dreamt by then Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1885, later, Indira Gandhi dreamt the same dream and by the efforts of UPA government, the same dream has come true,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister further said that the Qazigund-Banihal train will reduce the difficulties of the people because it will remain open in all the twelve months of the year.

The rail connectivity will cut the present surface distance between the two towns by 18 km.

The prime minister boarded the train which carried children on its first run through the Pir Panjal mountain range tunnel, the longest rail tunnel in India and the second longest in Asia.

He shook hands with the children on board and sat with them as the train wound its way through the tunnel.

Manmohan Singh then went back to Bannihal on the same train to address a public meeting in the town.

The 10.96 km railway tunnel has been built at a cost of Rs.1,300 crores. An eight-coach train will operate on the route from June 27.

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