Vaishnodevi town to be linked with railways by 2010 end

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Jammu, Jun 11 (UNI) One of the most revered shrines of Mata Vaishnodevi at Katra, about 45 km from here, will be linked with the Indian Railways network by 2010 end.

''The IRCON, responsible for the construction of 42-kms-long rail track between Udhampur and Katra, is expected to complete work by 2010 end,'' a well-placed official source told UNI.

Work between Udhampur -- the northernmost Indian Railways station -- and Katra was to be completed by the end of this year, but got delayed, due to the practical hurdles in construction of 3-kms-long 'T-1' tunnel on the way.

The IRCON and Konkan Railways have undertaken the construction of 292-km-long Udhampur-Baramulla railway line in Jammu and Kashmir.

Till now, the Indian Railways are operational up to Udhampur station only. ''However, the IRCON engineers have assured that the work of 'T-1' tunnel will be completed by 2010, opening the way for trains to chug up to holy town Katra,'' the source said.

The geologists and geographical experts, who had conducted a survey, found the mountainous site for three-kms-long tunnel unsuitable for the construction. ''The work thus got delayed after 1.5 kms-long tunnel was constructed'' the source added.

Of 119 kms track between Qazigund to Baramulla in Kashmir, 70 kms from Wampoo to Ompora is already completed, a source said, asserting that work on rest 49 kms is going on full swing.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner, Railways Safety, has cleared decks for Qazigund-Baramulla railway track.

Elaborate security apparatus, with 12 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had been deployed along Qazigund-Baramulla rail-line.

''The Union Home ministry has also approved a proposal for creating 2,637 posts in GRP, having one DIG, two SPs, eight DySP rank officers,'' the source said, adding three police stations, one each at Awantipora, Anantnag, Srinagar, and three police posts (having jurisdiction of Hasanpora-Brijbhera; Panzgam-Pulwama and Kokapora-Pampore-Shalima) will be established.

Besides, special guards, police officers and other security agencies will also be involved in the security of tracks, bridges, tunnels to thwart the nefarious designs of anti-national elements.

UNI VBH-VJ ATI BST1636

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