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How the Kashmir Rail Link Project is Bringing Prosperity to the Region

The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project brings people in the region more jobs, prosperity and connectivity.

The context: The national project aims to connect the Kashmir region to the rest of the country.

Quick work: Indian Railways is constructing the broad gauge railway line through the Himalayas.

  • The budget allocation for the project has increased significantly since 2014, allowing for rapid construction activity.

  • The first three phases of the project have been completed.

  • The railway line is in operational service for the movement of trains between Baramulla-Banihal in Kashmir valley and Jammu-Udhampur-Katra in Jammu region.

Work is underway on the Katra-Banihal intermediate section of 111 km.

  • This is the most difficult section due to its geology and extensive river system filled with deep gorges.

  • Several iconic bridges and tunnels arrive here.

  • Most of the railroad in this part should be in tunnels or bridges.

  • The project expenditure on this section so far is around Rs 30,650 Crore.

Good for people: The project benefits the inhabitants of the region.

  • The backward neighborhoods of Reasi and Ramban have particularly benefited.

  • Hinterland areas that were previously only accessible by foot or boat now have road connectivity.

  • Medical, educational, business and commercial activities have become more accessible.

Path to prosperity: The railways have also built access roads for the project in this area.

  • More than 1,800 hectares of land have been acquired.

  • More than 205 km of access roads have been built, including a tunnel and 320 bridges.

  • The new road connectivity to 73 villages in remote areas has benefited about 1.5 lakh people.

  • Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana routes now take off from these access routes.

  • In addition, nearly 800 eligible land donors have obtained jobs.

  • Jobs were also provided by contractors to 14,069 locals.

  • More than 500 lakh man-days of work have been generated so far.

Better access to care: The project has stimulated various activities in the field of corporate social responsibility.

  • This includes nine ambulances provided in Ramban district and 15 motorized wheelchairs.

  • Free medical camps were organized in Banihal, Ramban and Reasi.

At the end of the line: Thanks to the Kashmir rail link project and the secondary benefits arising from the large investment, things are looking up for the people of the region.

Adapted from the article by Arun Kumar Das.