New Delhi- The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) has generated five crore mandays of employment so far, the railways said on Wednesday.
Once completed, the rail link will connect Kashmir Region with the rest of India.
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.
The work on the intervening 111-km section between Katra and Banihal, the most arduous and treacherous portion due to its geology and extensive riverine system replete with deep gorges, is ongoing.
The project has brought in employment, prosperity and connectivity to the people, the railways said, adding the backward districts of Reasi and Ramban have especially benefitted from the project.
“Medical, educational, market and business activities have become easily reachable for the people. The cost of construction of the 111-km Katra-Banihal section so far has been Rs 30,672.34 crore,” the railways said in a statement.
The railways has also offered jobs to those landowners who have provided over 75 per cent of their land for the project and 799 such eligible people have been given jobs.
“Around 14,069 people have been provided employment through contractors and about 65 per cent of those employed were locals. More than 500 lakh mandays of employment have been generated so far,” the statement said.
Under the project, the railways has also built more than 205-km-long approach roads, including one tunnel and 320 bridges.
This has provided connectivity to 73 villages of far-flung areas, the railways said.
Earlier, these roads were accessible only by foot or boats, now four-wheelers can ply on them, it said.
The railways said that various activities are also being conducted under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) like providing nine ambulances in Ramban District, 15 motorised wheel chairs, free medical camps held in Banihal, Ramban and Reasi.
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