Railways Shelves Its Kashmir Expansion

KL Report

SRINAGAR

New Delhi has frozen any expansion in the railways in J&K. Barring two trains that will link Jammu to the rest of India, there is nothing much for J&K in UPS-IIs last railway budget.

Railways has abandoned the proposed Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch and Baramulla-Kupwara rail lines. The reason was given that the cost of these projects was high and the funding issues could not be sorted out.

Prposed to connect Akhnoor, Kaleeth, Doori- Dager-Chowkim Choura-Bhambl and Nowshera, the 223-km Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch line was estimated to cost Rs 13612.81 crore.

In contrast to this, the 39 Kms Baramulla-Kupwara track was pegged at Rs 628.29 crore only.

The railway, however, has not totally shelved the Islamabad-Pahalgam railway line that is aimed at facilitating pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave. The budget suggested this track is still under survey and target date of completion is not fixed. The costs of the project were not immediately known.

However, the budget gave Jammu two more rails. The Kota (Rajasthan)-Jammu Tawai Express (Weekly) via New Delhi-Ambala and Sriganganagar (Rajasthan)—Jammu Tawai Express (Weekly) via Abohar, Bathinda, Dhuri.

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