While nobody is in a position to offer any idea when Banihal will get connected with Katra, the babus are evaluating the costs that the ambitious railway line would require. The railway connection between Baramulla and Jammu would now cost Rs 19565 crore of which Rs 9700 crore stands already spent.
Railway ministry informed the parliament last week in a written response to PDPs Tariq Hameed Karra that outlays for the current fiscal stand at Rs 1500 crore. He was informed that while 25 kms between Udhampur and Katra is functional along with 138 kms track between Banihal and Baramulla, the ministry is in the process of implementing 110 kms stretch between Katra and Banihal.
But the railway ministry has many other projects in the state. Doubling of 211 kms track Jallandhar-Pathankot-Jammu Tawi is nearing completion as 118 kms have been completed at a cost of Rs 856 cr. The total projects would cost the ministry Rs 876 cr and may complete this year.
The ministry has already taken up three bridge projects on the Jammu Punjab track. Doubling across Ravi river between Kathua and Madhoupur witnessed Rs 20 crore expenditure against the anticipated cost of Rs 96 crore. Another doubling project is on way between Kathua and Madhopour requiring Rs 20 crore expenditure of which Rs 5 crore is spent already. Doubling across Basenter between Samba and Vijaypur would cost Rs 40 crore and so far half of it has been spent, the Parliament was informed.