Katra-Banihal railway line project on fast-track! Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently reviewed the progress of Indian Railways’ Katra-Banihal railway line project and gave explicit instructions on the speedy completion of the key infrastructure project by 2020. Thus, by the next year, the Katra-Banihal section of the USBRL project in Jammu and Kashmir is expected to be completed. A few months ago, it was reported that the Jammu and Kashmir administration has formed two district-level committees to review work on the construction of the Katra-Banihal section of the USBRL project.
The USBRL is the biggest construction project of a mountain railway by Indian Railways. The railway line passes through the Young Himalayas and comprises various legs and sections, which are divided on the basis of construction phases. It is being said that the 325 km long rail line project is the most expensive stretch out of all Indian Railways lines in India. To provide a safe, alternative and reliable transportation system in Jammu and Kashmir, some sections of the line have already been made operational.
The project also involves the construction of the world's highest rail bridge, the Chenab bridge. The bridge, which will form a crucial link in the section between Katra and Banihal, is being built at a height of 359 metres above the waters of the Chenab river. Keeping in view the terrorism-prone region where the bridge is being constructed, 63 mm-thick special blast-proof steel is being used to build the bridge.
The deadline for the Katra-Banihal railway line project was fixed by PM Modi while chairing his 31st interaction meet through PRAGATI with secretaries of various Union ministries as well as chief secretaries of various Union territories and states.
Meanwhile, PM Modi also reviewed some other infrastructure projects including the Aizawl-Tuipang highway project and Delhi-Meerut Expressway. The Prime Minister desired that long-delayed infra projects should be expedited by the respective state governments.