PM dedicates Katra rail link to the Nation
Winning hearts of people of J&K my priority
JAMMU: Dedicating the Udhampur –Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra railway line to the people of the nation by flagging off the train from Katra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that chugging of train to Katra will accelerate and give a new momentum to the development of the state. Modi also flagged off first train –a DMU– from newly constructed Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Katra Railway Station,
“Today Jammu and Kashmir will get both speed and energy. I am inaugurating this and a power project later today,” the Prime Minister said adding that “On one side Amarnath yatra is on, on the other there is Ramzan being observed and at the same time this new facility comes up for devotees to connect to Mata Vaishnoo Devi ,” Modi said, suggesting that the train be called ‘Shri Shakti Express’. He congratulated the people of the nation and said the vital rail link will fulfill the aspirations of the people across the nation.
N. N. Vohra, Governor of J&K and Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of J&K, Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda Union Minister of Railways, Shri Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways, Government of India and Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science and Technology, Earth Science & Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances, & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space, Government of India. Chairman Railway Board, Shri Arunendra Kumar, Member Engineering Railway Board Shri V. K. Gupta, General Manager, Northern Railway & North Central Railway Shri Pradeep Kumar, Senior officials of Railways and J&K State Government were among those present on the occasion.
“Katra will see massive growth and emerge as the centre stage of major economic and developmental activities in the coming 10 years and its impact will percolate to all the facets and dimensions of development of the state” Prime Minister said adding that better infrastructure and developmental projects have their positive spillover effects in terms of employment generation and overall growth . Prime Minister assured that the start made by former Prime Minister Atalji for connecting Jammu and Kashmir through Railways will be taken ahead.
Assuring holistic development of Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister said that J&K has faced lot of hardships and it is collective responsibility of all to work for the growth of the state. ”Carrying forward the ideology of Atal Bihari Vajpaee and winning the hearts of the people of J&K is my priority and it will be strengthened by development and growth for progress and prosperity of people of state”, Prime Minister added.
Mr. Modi said that development should aim at bringing about a qualitative change in the life of all stakeholders and all developmental activities should be conceptualized by setting benchmarks for sustainable growth. He said that the Himalayan states have their unique set of problems and developmental aspirations and government is ensuring all efforts to meet these needs and aspirations .He maintained that development should keep focus on promotion and protection of ecology of these regions. He maintained that unique environment friendly infrastructural development will be promoted in the Himalayan states.
The 25.6 km long track came up at an estimated cost of Rs.1132.75 cr and has 10.9 km of tunneling, one important, seven major and 29 minor bridges. The station on this section is Chakrakhwal in addition to Udha mpur & Katra. The construction of the rail line necessitated building of 11 Road-Over-Bridges & 1Road-Under-Bridge besides one pipe-line crossing in addition to 3 Foot-over-Bridges and 38.86 lakh cum earthwork. The bridge on River Jhajjar is the longest Steel Girder Bridge in India with a height of 85 m and with two spans of 154m each.
Prime Minister said that State of Art facilities at Katra Railway Station will attract a huge influx of tourists and expressed hope that the impact will reinforce the developmental activities in Jammu too.
He said that in a unique initiative and centre-state partnership to improve the facilities for the tourists. Tourism infrastructure will be developed in state and also a single ticket facility will be provided to travel to Katra and further to Banihal by bus and to proceed to Kashmir via train.
He said that it is also the time to introspect as how much the benefits of developmental initiatives have actually reached the grass root. He maintained that growth is achieved only when the person living in the farthest and remotest parts of the nation enjoys the benefits of development. Mr Modi said that development initiatives should have a spillover effect to bring vital changes in the socio-economic status of the people.
Speaking on the improvement of railways, Prime Minister said that new guidelines have been forwarded for developing ultra modern railway stations to facilitate the travelers adding that such developmental initiatives will turn into economically viable projects and will attract private participation in the field. He stressed that it is important that the railway stations should be revamped to provide services and ambience at par with airports .We should also make better use of SOLAR ENERGY and all railway stations should draw Solar Power” said Mr Modi.
Mr Modi said that in order to give impetus to rail connectivity in the state, Northern Railway plans to extend the 3 pairs of DEMU train services currently servicing from Jammu Tawi to Udhampur to Katra. The Railway also proposes to run 3 pairs of Express trains from New Delhi, Kalka and Ahmedabad to Katra besides the proposal to run 3 pairs of Premium trains from Bandra (T), Howrah and Yeshwantpur to Katra in the year ahead
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra station is provided with modern passenger conveniences. It is a four line crossing station. Platform No. 1, 2 & 3 the main passenger train dealing platforms are 550m long high level Platform each with 400 m long platform shelter.
One escalator connecting station building and PF-1 is also provided here. Sufficient water booths are provided on all platforms. Public conveniences, water taps, benches, etc. are also provided on all the platforms. One through FOB has been provided for the local people of the town.
Earlier the Union Railway Minster, D.V. Sadananda gave a resume of the project and other important aspects and said that Permanent job in Railways has been provided to one of the family members, whose more than 75% of land has been acquired and job to 700 persons has been given so far in this project. The completion of this project will provide an all weather and reliable connectivity to the J&K State with rest of the country by the railway network and also provide connectivity by rail to far flung areas of J&K which will result in overall development of the state.
Construction of Access Roads – More than 235 Km approach road to work sites is being constructed; these roads will provide connectivity to far-flung villages and will connect them to the main stream.