Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday announced that Banihal to Katra railway link in Jammu and Kashmir will be completed by 2022.
In Rajya Sabha he stated, "Before the 75th Independence day of India, Banihal to Katra link will be completed from Kanyakumari to Baramulla through rail."
The Minister tweeted, "Before August 2022, that is, till the completion of 75 years of independence, the railway work from Katra to Banihal will be finished, and this will create an Indian rail from Kanyakumari to Baramulla."
अगस्त 2022 से पहले, अर्थात आजादी के 75 वर्ष पूर्ण होने तक कटरा से बनिहाल तक का रेलवे का कार्य समाप्त हो जायेगा, और इससे कन्याकुमारी से बारामुला तक एक भारतीय रेल हो जायेगी। pic.twitter.com/kmnFIinipt— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) March 17, 2020
The railway track is a 111-km long stretch which would connect Kashmir Valley with the rest of India. The railway track will start from Jammu and end at Baramulla.
Designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 260 km per hour, the 1.315-km-long "engineering marvel" will connect Bakkal (Katra) and Kauri (Srinagar). The bridge forms a crucial link in the 111-km stretch between Katra and Banihal, which is part of the Udhampur- Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project.
The rail line is expected to be 35 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower. The railway track is being constructed in hostile terrain and will be 359 meters above the river bed.
Earlier in Rajya Sabha, several opposition members on Tuesday raised concerns over the poor financial health of the railways, reduced job opportunities and delay in the execution of major projects and privatization of the national transporter.
Refusing the claims made by the Opposition, the Minister asserted that there is no plan to privatise Indian Railways as it belongs to people.