Narendra Modi led BJP govt at the centre will have to race against time as the railways ministry has set a deadline of connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country through railway network by June 2020.
“Though we have set a deadline of connecting kashmir by railway network by June 2020 we will try our best to dedicate the project in the service of the nation before that as well”, MOS Railways Manoj Sinha said here after inspecting the project site of Worlds highest Railway bridge in village Kauri of Reasi.
Accompanied by senior members of the Railway Board and project engineers MOS Railways also performed pooja at the project site before formally announcing the decision to go ahead with the construction of the rail link along the existing alignment between Katra and Banihal.
The 111 km crucial rail link came under scanner after four member expert panel headed by E Sreedharan had submitted a report to the Railway Minister in February 2015 recommending scrapping of the existing alignment.
The panel had also expressed serious reservations with the design of the 359 metre high railway bridge over river Chenab.
Addressing media persons at the project site MOS Railways Manoj Sinha said, “the railway board has taken a unanimous decision to go ahead with the construction work along the existing alignment”.
He said before the alignment was approved consultants from various known companies and epxerts from IIT Delhi and Indian Institue f Sciences were taken on board.
The existing alignment on which the work has progressed sufficiently has been found suitable, survivable and constructible, he added.
Member Engineering Railway baord VK Gupta said the design of the bridge has been prepared to suit the local conditions. He said the alternative alignment being proposed is a hypothetical paper alignment without any survey,geo-technical and geological investigations.
Manoj Sinha while referring to the ongoing case in the Delhi High court said we have already informed the court that the railway board has taken this decision to go ahead with the existing alignment. He said now it is up to the court to take a view on this, i cannot comment further.