Jammu: The GoI will be expediting the work on prestigious Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail link Project (USBRL), which got affected by the second wave of Corona pandemic. The pace of work on the project that would connect Kashmir with the rest of the country slowed to an extent in the last couple of months due to Covid induced lockdowns.
Railway minister Piyush Goyal while reviewing the progress of USBRL through with Chairman and CEO, Railway Board along with senior officials of Railways on Tuesday instructed to put in extra efforts in coming months to make up for the loss of time due to Covid second wave.
Officals informed Goyal that the budget of USBRL for year 2021-22 is Rs. 4200 Cr.
The 272 km railway line is being undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs 28,000 crore by the Northern Railway. The first section connecting Udhampur to Katra and the third section between Banihal and Baramulla have been completed with both sections operational
Work on the intervening 111 km section Katra-Banihal, the most arduous and treacherous portion due to its geology and extensive riverine system replete with deep gorges is ongoing. Most of the rail track is slated to be in tunnels or bridges in this section.
The Udhampur-Katra (25 km) section, Banihal-Qazigund (18 km) section and Qazigund-Baramulla (118 km) section have already been commissioned.
Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link project (USBRL)
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 northernmost 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.
Three agencies — IRCON, KRCL and Northern Railway are involved in this 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.