Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal on Wednesday (30 December) reviewed the progress of the ongoing Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) national project in Jammu and Kashmir.
Expressing satisfaction on the progress of the project, Goyal said that the aspirations of the people of J&K has to be fulfilled by completing the project so that the region gets a good transportation system to remain connected to the rest of the country all the year round, a Ministry of Railways statement said.
Goyal called upon the engineers working on the project to expedite the remaining portion on mission mode. He also instructed them to complete the procurement of materials and permission procedures on time so that there is no delay in the construction of the line.
The USBRL is a National project undertaken by the Indian Railways for construction of broad-gauge railway line through the Himalayas with the aim of connecting the Kashmir region with rest of the country. The all-weather, comfortable, convenient and cost effective mass transportation system will be the catalyst for the overall development of the northern most alpine region of the country.
Construction of the first three phases of the project has been completed and the line is in operational use for running of trains between Baramulla-Banihal in Kashmir valley and Jammu-Udhampur-Katra in Jammu region.
Work on the intervening 111 km Katra-Banihal section, the most arduous and treacherous portion due to its geology and extensive riverine system replete with deep gorges is ongoing, the ministry said.
Three agencies; IRCON, KRCL and Northern Railway are involved in the project. Many international agencies and premier Indian institutes like IIT Roorkee, IIT Delhi, DRDO and Geological Survey of India are providing expertise in planning and implementation. Several sets of tunnelling machineries and cranes have also been imported.
Currently, 95 per cent of the Arch work of the Chenab Bridge, world’s tallest railway bridge is complete, while the work on the Anji bridge an asymmetric cable stayed bridge is on in full swing.
Around 81.21 km of the total 97.64 km main tunnelling, and 53.50 km out of 60.5 Km escape tunnel works have been completed.
Meanwhile, 12 mega and 10 minor bridges have been completed. Laying of the remaining 12 mega bridges and one more minor bridge is to be completed by 2021-22, the ministry said.
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