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Updated January 3rd, 2024 at 19:14 IST

Banihal-Khari railway station to open soon, CRS conducts inspection

A high-speed trial by a special train followed the inspection, showcasing substantial progress in this crucial phase of the USBRL initiative.

Reported by: Zeenat Zeeshan Fazil
Edited by: Shweta Singh
CRS Conducts Thorough Inspection of Banihal-Khari Section in USBRL Project
CRS Conducts Thorough Inspection of Banihal-Khari Section in USBRL Project | Image:Republic

 

Jammu & Kashmir : In a monumental stride towards the completion of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project, Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) on Wednesday, conducted a thorough inspection of the Banihal-Khari section.

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A high-speed trial by a special train followed the inspection, showcasing substantial progress in this crucial phase of the USBRL initiative. The 14.869 km Banihal-Khari rail track, a focal point of the inspection, is now prepared for new line train operation. 

“The infrastructure is prepared for commissioning, a meticulous process currently underway. Prioritizing passenger safety, we are diligently following the prescribed government procedures for testing and commissioning,” said Commissioner of Railway Safety, Dinesh Chand Deshwal while talking to Republic

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“The imminent operational readiness of the train for commercial processes is on the horizon. We are thoroughly addressing all aspects to ensure a seamless transition to commercial operations, actively taking stock of the commissioning progress,” Deshwal adds.

This development marks a significant step forward in the long-awaited national initiative, bringing the Udhampur-Banihal section closer to realization. The Banihal-Khari railway station is expected to open any time soon, with the entire Katra-Banihal stretch slated for inauguration by March 2024.

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The economic implications for the region, particularly Kashmir, are profound. The improved connectivity promises to stimulate local trade, boost tourism, and catalyse various economic activities, providing a much-needed economic lift for the region.

From a strategic standpoint, the USBRL project is not only about immediate economic and travel benefits but also underscores its ‘all-weather rail connectivity’.

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Pertinently, before the track inspection, the railway team performed a Puja (religious rituals).The railway workers were unable to conceal their excitement for the imminent completion of the project.

 “Starting with an empty landscape, we labourers put our hands to the soil, breaking ground with the raw strength of unwavering dedication. Each swing of the hammer and every carefully laid rail symbolize the birth of connectivity in a place,” said Mohammad Yousuf, a labourer.

 “As railway engineers, our minds are the architects of this transformation. From the initial survey to the meticulous planning, we translate visions into blueprints and blueprints into reality. Every curve, every junction and every gradient is a reflection of commitment to efficiency and safety,” said an engineer, part of this project.

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Published January 3rd, 2024 at 16:29 IST

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