Work in progress! Indian Railways’ Katra-Banihal rail project to connect Kashmir within 2-3 years; details

Work on Indian Railways’ Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project, worth Rs 21,653 crore, connecting Kashmir with rest of India is likely to be completed within 2-3 years. Northern Railway GM, Ashutosh Gangal was quoted in a PTI report saying that there was no seepage issue in the tunnels that are under construction as they are horseshoe-shaped for water to drain out.

The USBRL project is said to be the most challenging railway infra project being undertaken after India’s Independence. The project has missed several deadlines amid huge cost escalations since the year 1997 when the then PM H D Deve Gowda laid the project’s foundation at Udhampur.

Gangal and other senior officials of Indian Railways were at Kauri in Jammu and Kashmir to witness the completion of the arch on the world’s highest rail bridge, which soars 359 metres above the Chenab river bed. Gangal said the seepage issue is in one or two tunnels in the Udhampur-Katra section. The construction has been modified to horseshoe-type to drain out the water.

Thus, in the tunnels between the Katra-Banihal section, there will be no seepage issue. In some old tunnels, seepage issue was present, and to address the problem, the national transporter is taking necessary measures, Gangal said.

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