The Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh and the UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, inaugurated on Wednesday the all-weather rail route to Kashmir Valley. While inaugurating the rail route they said that the Center is committed to take care of development of Jammu and Kashmir. The tunnel, 10.96 kilometers, having cost Rs.1300 crore has been opened by the Prime Minister to connect Qazigund and Banihal in this region.
The present distance between these places will be cut short by eighteen kilometers through this new railway network. The Prime Minister congratulated the Indian Railways as well as the Kashmir valley while promising to link the rail route to other rail routes in India.
While addressing a general public meeting, the Prime Minister stressed on the fact that the railway links would be completed in time so as to ensure an all-weather link to the state that is cut off during the winters from the other parts of the country. He urged the “Railways” so that the Chenab Bridge project is completed “quickly” for having a “link to Kashmir” despite all weather conditions.
The train that was boarded by the Prime Minister and the UPA chairperson was one that took the children on the first ride through the tunnel of the mountain range Pir Panjal. The tunnel is the longest in India and ranks 2nd largest in Asia. The Prime Minister was also accompanied by Jammu & Kashmir’s Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and Health Minister of the state Ghulam Nabi.