Railway link between Delhi-Kashmir to get ready in four years

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Delhi-KashmirDirect trains between New Delhi and Srinagar will start plying in just four years. The project costing Rs 10,000 crore will enable the citizens to reach Srinagar from Delhi in just 14 hours time.

The project is being personally monitored by Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu.

About two-thirds of the 326 km Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link is ready. The portion that needs to be completed is a 111 km stretch between Katra, the Hindu pilgrimage town near Jammu, and Banihal on the slopes of Kashmir valley, for which the railway ministry has already allocated funds and formed a special monitoring team. Banihal is connected to Baramulla via Srinagar, while Jammu is linked to Katra via Udhampur, reported The Economic Times.

Katra-Banihal project is considered the toughest in the country’s engineering history and involves the construction of 27 bridges, including the tallest rail bridge in the world, and 37 tunnels, one of which is the longest in Asia at more than 12 km.

The terrain in the Himalayas, one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world, is tough as the soil changes every 15 km, the official said. Most of the 111 km Katra-Banihal route will consist of tunnels (95 km) and bridges (almost 10 km).

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