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Sonia, PM to inaugurate key rail link connecting Kashmir to Jammu

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate a train service between Qazigund in Kashmir and Banihal in the Jammu region today.

The 10.96 km which includes a 11km railway tunnel will link landlocked Kashmir Valley with Jammu region.

 Sonia, PM to inaugurate key rail link connecting Kashmir to Jammu

PTI

The eight-coach train will make regular operation from Banihal to Baramulla from tomorrow and will make five trips daily. This Qazigund-Banihal rail section will reduce the distance by road from 35 km to 18 km.

The rail link has been constructed at a cost of Rupees 1,691 crore.

A train service is already operational within Kashmir valley between Qazigund and Baramulla in north Kashmir. "The mandatory inspection of the track by Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) is slated on June 18 and after that the line is expected to open on June 25," Northern Railway General Manager VK Gupta said in Delhi on Friday.

A trial run on this section was successfully done on 28 December, 2012 and since then trains carrying stones are running on regular basis.

This section will have two main railway stations- Banihal in Jammu division and Qazigund in Kashmir division. In addition to these stations, a halt station is also being provided at Hillar village in Anantnag district for the convenience of local public.

"It was a challenging task. Besides the difficult terrain, land was acquired for the Kashmir rail link project during an adverse law and order situation in the state," Gupta said.

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Updated Date: Jun 26, 2013 11:40:48 IST