Prabhu orders survey on rail lines to Basohli, Bhaderwah

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Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu today ordered survey and inspection for exploring feasibility of two new railway tracks in Jammu region from Kathua to Bani-Basohli-Billawar and Manwal to Bhaderwah while directing the Railways authorities to expedite follow up of survey on Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch railway line.
These announcements were made by Prabhu in an hour long meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, Incharge Power Development and Housing and Urban Development Departments in New Delhi.
Official sources  that the Railways Minister would be visiting Jammu and Kashmir early next year along with high level teams of the Railways Ministry to explore possibilities for construction of new railway lines in the State to boost inter-State rail connectivity.
On the demand projected by Dr Singh for construction of two new railway lines from Kathua to Bas-ohli-Billawar and Bani and Manwal to Bhaderwah, the Railways Minister directed officials of his Ministry to conduct feasibility check and survey of both the lines immediately and report back to him for initiating further steps on construction of the two railway lines.
The directions of the Railways Minister assumed significance as construction of these two railway lines was long pending demand of the people of hilly areas of Bani, Basohli and Billawar in Kathua district and Bhaderwah in Doda district, which have very poor road connectivity.
On Jammu-Poonch railway line via Akhnoor-Sunderbani-Nowshera-Rajouri on which the Railways Ministry has already ordered survey, Prabhu directed officers of his Ministry to expedite work on survey and submit report to him for taking further steps.
Sources said Prabhu assured the Deputy Chief Minister that a Railways Division would be set up in Jammu. Presently, Jammu comes under Ferozepur Railways Division.
“Construction of full fledged Railways Division in Jammu would go a long way in development of railways infrastructure in entire Jammu and Kashmir,” sources said.
They added that Dr Singh also demanded construction of railway line to border district of Kupwara for which Prabhu ordered a survey.
Meanwhile, the Railways Ministry will be exploring the possibility of construction of either Rail Coach Factory or catering unit in Jammu to generate employment opportunities for the youth of the State.
The Ministry also decided to consider the demand put forth by Dr Nirmal Singh for running more DMUs between Jammu and Katra and Banihal to Kashmir. He demanded increasing number of coaches of Hemkunt Express, which runs between Jammu to Rishikesh. He also called for running more trains to different destinations of the country from Katra and Jammu to facilitate pilgrims of Mata Vaishno Devi ji shrine and tourists of Jammu and Kashmir to have direct rail connectivity.

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