27 new metro rail lines proposed by H&UD Ministry include Jammu, Sgr

Rlys to link Kashmir with major destinations

Travel time to be sharply reduced: Dr Jitendra

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, May 30: Twenty seven new Metro rail lines proposed by the Union Ministry for Housing and Urban Development include Jammu and Srinagar while the Railways Ministry has geared itself up to connect Kashmir with all major destinations when the Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Rail Line (USBRL) is completed either by the end of this year or start of next year.
Official sources told the Excelsior that 27 new Metro rail lines proposed by the Union Ministry for Housing and Urban Development across the country include Jammu and Srinagar the proposals for which have been mooted for the past about two years now.
However, they said, 27 new metro rail lines will be approved in phased manner by the Urban Development Ministry followed by the Cabinet nod. The approval will be given taking into account criteria fixed by the Ministry including population, traffic load, feasibility, funding etc.
“Keeping these factors into account, approval for Jammu and Srinagar metro rail lines could take a little time,” sources said.
The UT Government had submitted a Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of Rs 10, 599 crore for the metro rail projects in Jammu and Srinagar to the Centre for the approval, which include Rs 5,734 crore for Srinagar and Rs 4,825 crore for Jammu.
As per the project, Jammu Light Metro will operate 17 hours a day round the year while Srinagar Light Metro will run 17 hours daily during summers and 14 hours daily for winters.
The metro rail lines will have only elevated corridors as the underground tunnels were not found feasible. The coaches of the Metrolite system will be modern, lightweight and made from stainless steel and aluminium with an air-conditioning system, as per the DPRs.
The Jammu Light Rail System will have a 23-kilometre length with 22 stations between Bantalab and Bari Brahmana whereas Srinagar light rail system will have a 25-kilometre length which includes a 12.5-kilometre length from Indira Nagar to HMT Junction and 12.5-kilometer length from Hazuri Bagh to Osmanabad with 24 stations (12 stations on each corridor).
Meanwhile, sources said, the Railways Ministry has also braced up to finalize trains to connect Kashmir with major destinations once USBRL is completed either by the end of this year or by start of next year.
The Railways Ministry proposed to run Vande Bharat train between New Delhi and Srinagar in such a way that passengers will reach Kashmir by the evening after boarding the train in the morning from Union capital.
“A number of others trains are also being planned to connect Kashmir directly with major destinations like Mumbai, Rajasthan, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru etc besides the Union capital and especially some religious places visited by the people from the Valley,” sources said.
Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh said besides train the people will also reach from Jammu to Srinagar in four hours by road after completion of the National Highway.
It may be mentioned here that construction of highest railway bridge in Reasi which falls in Parliamentary constituency of Dr Jitendra Singh has also been listed as one of the major achievements of Narendra Modi Government during last nine years.
“Some of the trains presently running up to Jammu, Udhampur and Katra could also be extended to Kashmir,” sources said, adding that the Valley will also get certain new trains which would be finalized well before completion of the railway project.
Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had also visited the highest railway bridge in Reasi district some time back during review of ongoing work on railway project.