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Banihal-Qazigund rail section to be commissioned by May

New Delhi, Mar 22: In a major step towards connecting Kashmir with rest of the country by rail, the long-awaited Banihal-Qazigund section will be commissioned within the next two months, providing an all-weather means of

PTI PTI Updated on: March 22, 2013 17:32 IST
banihal qazigund rail section to be commissioned by may
banihal qazigund rail section to be commissioned by may

New Delhi, Mar 22: In a major step towards connecting Kashmir with rest of the country by rail, the long-awaited Banihal-Qazigund section will be commissioned within the next two months, providing an all-weather means of transport to the valley.




This decision was taken at a high-level meeting held by the PMO to review progress of various infrastructure projects of Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting chaired by Pulok Chatterjee, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, decided that the Banihal-Quazigund section of the Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail line will be be commissioned in April-May this year. 

The rail link, which has strategic and socio-economic significance, reflects technological excellence as it includes a 11.215-km-long tunnel, the longest rail tunnel which reduces the distance between Quazigund and Banihal by 17 km compared to road.

The rail tunnel will facilitate all-weather connectivity between Jammu and Kashmir, which gets disconnected by road during winters due to snowfall.

The tunnel is equipped with the state-of-the-art air quality monitoring system, ventilation system, communication system, fire fighting system and emergency rescue system in case of emergency.

The tunnel's average elevation at 1,760 m (5,770 ft) is 440 m (1,440 ft) beneath the existing road tunnel.  The Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel is India's longest and Asia's third longest railway tunnel. China's Taihang Tunnel (28 km) is the longest and Wushaoling Tunnel (21 km) the second longest.

Till the Udhampur-Banihal section is constructed by 2018, people can travel from Baramulla in Kashmir to Banihal in Jammy by train and then take road to catch train again in Udhampur for rest of the country.

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