Updated December 23rd, 2023 at 12:54 IST
With T-1 tunnel breakthrough, Kashmir to be rail-linked with rest of the country
The T-1 is located at the foothills of the Trikuta Hills near Katra in Reasi District and is being constructed by the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd.
NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways marked a significant milestone in the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project, with the breakthrough achieved in the construction of the T-1 tunnel, which aims to connect the Kashmir region with the rest of the country's railway network. This remarkable achievement serves as a testament to the successful completion of all the essential tunnels.
The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla (USBRL) rail project witnessed the breakthrough, covering a distance of 3,209 meters on December 20, thereby marking a substantial leap in progress and connectivity expansion.
The T-1 is located at the foothills of the Trikuta Hills near Katra in Reasi District and is being constructed by the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. The T-1 tunnel is known for passing through the Lower Himalayas and containing Jointed and Fractured Dolomite, presenting various challenges.
Additionally, a significant portion of this tunnel passes through a large waterfall, known as the Main Boundary Thrust, which not only addresses the challenges posed by the Himalayan terrain but also heralds a leap forward in progress and connectivity expansion in the direction of Kashmir.
The most difficult railway project
Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minster of Indian Railways shared the good news in a written reply to questions raised by three BJP MPs, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Bidyut Baran Mahato and Jugal Kishore Sharma, who asked the minister to provide details of the steps taken to extend the Indian Railways network in Jammu and Kashmir and how the expansion is benefiting local communities and businesses.
"The USBRL project is perhaps the most difficult new railway line project undertaken in the country post-Independence. The terrain passes through young Himalayas, which are full of geological surprises and numerous problems," the letter read.
He added that the work on the Katra-Banihal (111km) section has been taken up and the anticipated cost of the project is Rs 37,012 crore, against which, expenditure of Rs 34,261/- crore has been incurred up to March, 2023 on the project. An outlay of Rs 5,310 crore has been allocated for the year 2023-24.
The minister said that 97.42 km out of 111 km, which is 87 per cent of the total length of the Katra-Banihal section, is in tunnels and the maximum length of tunnel T-49 is 12.77 km, which will be the longest transportation railway tunnel in the country.
The completion of all tunnels in this rail project has set the stage for the full-speed execution of the remaining work, operating day and night. Indian Railways is actively working towards connecting the Kashmir Valley to the nation's broader rail network.
(With PTI inputs)
Published December 23rd, 2023 at 12:54 IST