Kashmir: A big step taken today – Farooq Abdullah

IOK - Indian Occupied Kashmir Jammu & Kashmir

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) President and Member of Parliament, Farooq Abdullah Tuesday showered praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and congratulated him for the inauguration of the first electric train in the Baramulla-Sangaldan section of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla-Rail-Link (USBRL) project.

PM Modi on Tuesday flagged off the first electric train in Kashmir Valley and the train service between Sangaldan station and Baramulla station.

Talking to reporters on the sideline of the e-inauguration of the first electric train, the three-time chief minister Abdullah termed it a significant step taken by PM Modi and said the railway connecting Kashmir with other parts of the world was much needed.

“It is crucial for our tourism and also for our people. Now they can travel to other parts of the country. Our goods can be transported and business opportunities may also arise,” he said.

Abdullah congratulated all the railway officials who had worked to bring the railway to Kashmir.

“I congratulate the Union Railway Ministry and PM Modi, who have contributed to this. Today, we are witnessing the first step in this journey. I hope this train will be very successful and bring significant benefits to us,” he said.

Abdullah expressed optimism that the train services would quickly reach Katra from Sangaldan.

“The most challenging issue for us used to be the Srinagar-Jammu road, which was difficult to traverse. Now the railway services will ease our journey and people can easily travel to other parts of the world,” Abdullah said.

He said that people for many years hoped to see railway services reaching Kashmir.

“But our region is challenging. Tunnels need to be constructed here and the soil in these tunnels is not very solid, making the challenges formidable. However, they have overcome these challenges, and the first step has begun today. I hope that it will be connected to Jammu by June or July this year,” Abdullah said.

Meanwhile, talking to Greater Kashmir, Chief Area Manager (CAM) Srinagar Northern Railways Saqib Yousuf said that the electric train would chug daily from Baramulla to Sangaldan.

“The newly electrified Baramulla-Srinagar-Banihal-Sangaldan section is 185.66 km. It came up at Rs 470.23. Its significant feature is the usage of Ballast Less Track (BLT) all along the route providing a better riding experience to the passengers,” he said.

Yousuf said, earlier, diesel-run trains operated on the 138-km Baramulla-Banihal section and with the new line becoming operational, commuters can now travel by train from Baramulla to Sangaldan.

“These trains are running on clean fuel. The train has 20 stations on this section,” he said.__GK News