Railways begin aerial survey for doubling Banihal-Baramulla track, connecting Uri
Post by Irfan Yattoo on Monday, September 11, 2023
Srinagar, Sep 10: In a significant development aimed at enhancing railway connectivity in Kashmir, Northern Railways has initiated an aerial survey for the construction of a double-track on the Banihal-Baramulla railway line and a new railway line from Baramulla to Uri, officials confirmed on Sunday.
Chief Area Manager (CAM) Kashmir, Saqib Yousuf Yatoo, confirmed the commencement of the aerial survey for the double-track railway line from Banihal to Baramulla in Kashmir.
“This survey will also encompass the assessment of the new railway line from Baramulla to Uri, running along the Line of Control (LoC),” he said.
The CAM said that the primary objective of this survey is to gather crucial data about the proposed railway alignments, the terrain's specific characteristics, and any potential obstacles that may arise during the construction phase.
He emphasised that doubling the railway track will significantly enhance capacity and operational efficiency, leading to more frequent and seamless train services connecting Banihal and Baramulla.
Furthermore, CAM Kashmir disclosed plans for a new railway line spanning 50 kilometers from Baramulla to Uri. This project will establish a vital rail link to the border region of Uri, greatly expanding railway connectivity in the area.
From the Kanispora station, the new railway line will extend through key locations such as Baramulla, Sheeri, Gantmulla, Boniyar, Limber, Nougram, Uran Bua, Lagama, ultimately reaching Uri town. This development is expected to provide substantial relief to the local population, he added.
The CAM Kashmir further said that the survey project will be completed within the given time frame, initially survey will be completed on Banihal-Baramulla track. Then it will be carried along the proposed new track from Baramulla to Uri, he said. Earlier in March, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had announced the upcoming operation of the country's first indigenous semi-high-speed train on the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail route, anticipated to begin by the end of this year.
He also mentioned that the Udhampur-Banihal track, connecting Jammu with Srinagar, would be completed by December this year or early next year.
Presently, 19 train services, including seven trains, operate regularly on the Baramulla-Banihal sector in Jammu and Kashmir, serving approximately 30,000 passengers daily, including students and commuters. Kashmir inaugurated its first train service in 2013, a milestone marked by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway (USBRL) track is a significant project aimed at connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country and falls under the jurisdiction of the Firozpur Railway division of Indian Railways' Northern zone. Notably, the 359-meter (1,178-foot) tall Chenab Bridge, upon completion, will become the tallest railway bridge in the world.