Qazigund Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Monday highlighted the importance of Railway link between Jammu and Srinagar to provide a dependable, modern and all weather communication system for the people of the State. This and 4-laning of National Highway (NHW) from Lakhanpur to Srinagar are the prestigious projects cherished by the people for a long time, he said underlining the significance of these communication links in the socio-economic development of the State.
Omar Abdullah said that up to the mark road communication in a State like Jammu and Kashmir is all the more important for its geographical diversity, hilly terrain and remoteness. He said the rail communication to provide alternate and all whether commuting facility for the people and transshipment of goods including fruit and vegetables from the State is of significant economic importance to the Valley. He said both the projects of 4-laning of National Highway and Railway link between Jammu and Srinagar would help generation wide-ranging economic activities for the people in the State.
The Chief Minister this afternoon inspected the pace of work on both these projects at Qazigund, Galander and other places on National Highway and received presentation from the concerned agencies on the status of progress of the works.
The Chief Minister inspected the Pir Panchal Railway Tunnel (T-80) connecting Jammu to Kashmir Valley through Pir Panchal mountain range of Himalaya. The Pir Panchal Tunnel is the longest rail tunnel in India located between the Banihal in South and Qazigund in North with 10.960 kilometers length. The tunnel is completely straight and runs almost parallel to North-South direction.
Presenting the status report of the project, the Railway Authorities told the Chief Minister that the Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway project of Indian Railways has been declared a National Project and it envisages construction of large number of tunnels and bridges to be implemented in highly, rugged and mountainous terrains with most difficult Himalayan geology.
The alignment also crosses deep gorges of Chenab River. The 359 meter
bridge over River Chenab will be the highest bridge in the world and longest span of BG Rail line with each span of 467 meters. The total length of the bridge is 1315 meters coming up at a cost of Rs. 5120 million. The main arch span of the bridge is 467 meters.
Enquiring about the status of jobs being provided by the Railway to the locals, the Chief Minister was told that permanent jobs are being provided in Railways to one of the family members whose more than 75 percent land has been acquired and so far 650 such families have been benefited. It was also given out that employment to the locals for day-to-day requirements is being provided.
The Chief Minister also inspected 9 kilometer long tunnel at Qazigund being constructed by National Highway Authority of India under the 4-laning of National Highway project between Lakhanpur to Srinagar. The concerned authorities presented the status of progress on the project to the Chief Minister. It was stated that 114 kilometers of 400 kilometer road project have been completed at a cost of over Rs. 590 crores. This includes stretch from Lakhanpur to Jammu including 15 kilometers Jammu Bye-Pass and 17.80 kilometers Srinagar Bye-Pass.
The work on 286 kilometer road length is under way in 6 packages. The major structures to be constructed include two tunnels of 10.8 kilometers length at Chenani and 9.2 kilometers at Qazigund. It also envisages construction of 12 shorter tunnels, 34 major bridges and 24 viaducts.
The Chief Minister inspected the 4-laning of Qazigund Bye-Pass and 4-laning of Pampore Bye-Pass from Galander to Lasjan. He emphasized the need for fixing time lines for the completion of various works so that the projects are completed within the stipulated time period. He directed for fast tracking the works wherever required.
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