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Updated January 28th, 2024 at 12:06 IST

Northern Railways to Link Sopore to Kupwara, Gets Nod for Drone Survey | Details Inside

The drone survey targets the final location survey (FSL) work of the new rail line, linking Sopore to Kupwara, covering an extensive 33.7 km stretch

Reported by: Zeenat Zeeshan Fazil
The ambitious project aims to seamlessly connect the border district to the broader railway network, enhancing transportation infrastructure
The ambitious project aims to seamlessly connect the border district to the broader railway network, enhancing transportation infrastructure | Image:PTI
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Srinagar: In a significant development for the northern district of Kupwara, plans for railway expansion are set to materialise as the Northern Railways secures approval for a crucial 'drone survey'. The green signal follows a meticulous evaluation and clearance process by the district administration.

The approved drone survey targets the final location survey (FSL) work of the new rail line, linking Sopore to Kupwara, covering an extensive 33.7 kilometer stretch. The ambitious project aims to seamlessly connect the border district to the broader railway network, enhancing transportation infrastructure and fostering growth and connectivity in the region.

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Officials involved in the initiative emphasised the anticipated benefits of the survey, highlighting its potential to provide essential insights and data crucial for a project of immense regional importance.

However, the approval comes with conditions designed to ensure the safety and security of the region.

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Northern Railways is mandated to cooperate closely with local police, PMF and sister agencies, personally assuming responsibility in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Additional conditions outlined for the Northern Railways include cooperation with local law enforcement, reporting to concerned police stations before travel, and refraining from causing traffic obstructions. The permission strictly prohibits drone usage near sensitive areas including the LoC.

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The directive issued by the District Development Commissioner Kupwara emphasises the importance of legal compliance, directing organisers to follow guidelines issued by the Supreme Court or any other competent court.

"The use of drones for photography during the survey is restricted to daytime hours, specifically from 9 am to 4 pm," informs an official.

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Meanwhile, the residents in North Kashmir express optimism regarding the development.

"The rail link holds strategic importance, contributing to the overall connectivity. It can serve as a critical transport artery for both civilian and strategic needs, reinforcing national infrastructure," expressed a local resident.

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Local farmers too are optimistic about the impact on their livelihoods.

"Farmers in North Kashmir stand to benefit from the rail network as it provides a reliable and efficient means of transporting agricultural produce to markets. This can lead to increased market access, better pricing, and overall upliftment of the agricultural community," said Mohammad Ashraf, a local farmer.

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Pertinently, in August 2023, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had announced plans to connect Kashmir to Kanyakumari by the end of the financial year, aiming to link the valley with key commercial centers across the country.

He then informed that the railway board has approved five FSL projects in Kashmir, encompassing the doubling of the Baramulla-Banihal railway line, New Baramulla-Uri, Awantipora-Shopian, Sopore-Kupwara and Anantnag-Bijbehara-Pahalgam rail lines.

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Published January 28th, 2024 at 10:11 IST

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