Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on Thursday said Kashmir is India's crown and the central government should help in make it prosperous.
"Kashmir is India's crown and there is no other way to look after it than paying attention towards it and helping its overall progress and development," Sayeed said here.
He was speaking at the flagging-off ceremony of four new trains by Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu.
Sayeed said it was his desire to see Kashmir gets connected with national railway network.
"Railway is an important mode of integration and it is my dream to see rail from here going directly to Delhi. It will not only facilitate travel but help in bridging emotional gaps as well," the chief minister said.
Sayeed also said the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, which is the only surface link of landlocked valley with outside, gets blocked usually due to bad weather and rail will provide alternate mode of connecting the state with rest of the country.
"There will be hassles, but you will have to do it and a structured dialogue with state's and centre's representatives can sort out any hiccups in connecting the rail network here with national capital," he said referring to Prabhu.
"If we succeed in connecting Kashmir with Delhi through railways, it will be a turning point in the history of the country and the state."
He said the railway people have worked in the state in "most hard and difficult times". "I know that and I appreciate that."
The chief minister said railway can become an important medium in boosting economy of the state. "Our Fruit industry and handicrafts can reach to outside state easily. We can have local ethnic products which can find their way in national and even global market."
"We can have Rajasthan style 'Palace on Wheels' here, after all Kashmir is a paradise and proper rail network can attract more and more tourists in the state and generate more employment opportunities in tourism and railways," he said.
Sayeed also asked the central government to provide jobs to those left-out people whose land has come under railway track in the state.