Reliable Transportation System For J&K: Massive Himalayan Project ‘USBRL’ Almost Ready, Confirms Railways Ministry

Image Credit: Twitter/ Ministry of Railways, USBRL

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Reliable Transportation System For J&K: Massive Himalayan Project ‘USBRL’ Almost Ready, Confirms Railways Ministry

One of the most challenging projects undertaken by the Indian Railways post-independence, the USBRL project is nearing completion, as 90% of the overall work has been completed. The government of India initiated the project to provide a reliable transportation system to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

To provide an alternative and reliable transportation system to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the government of India planned a 272 Km long railway line from Udhampur to Baramulla, joining the valley region under the railways' line. The work was started under the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail link Project (USBRL) and has been one of the most challenging projects of Indian railways since independence.

The government also declared it a 'National Project' in 2002 in view of its importance in providing hassle-free connectivity in the valley. Under the USBRL project, the Indian Railways has constructed a large number of tunnels, bridges, and railway lines in mountainous terrains with complex Himalayan geology making it more difficult.

Despite all the challenges, the massive 272 Km long Himalayan project has been nearly completed with 90 per cent overall progress. As part of the project, the railways are constructing as many as 38 tunnels and 927 bridges. The bridges include the Chenab bridge, one of the most iconic bridges in India, and Anji Khad, the Indian railways' first cable-stayed bridge.

Know About USBRL Project's Progress

According to the Ministry of Railways statement, Katra-Banihal Section's 162.6Km out of 163.88Km tunnel mining and 31.3 km of a total of 117.7 km of track laying has been completed. Additionally, 21 out of 26 main bridges required to be completed have been constructed, and 11 minor bridges have also been completed by the Indian Railways.

As many as seven stations are 80 per cent complete, and the overall project is 90 per cent completed. According to USBRL's official website, the train lines- 25 km from Udhampur to Katra, 118 km from Qazigund to Baramulla, and 18 km from Banihal to Qazikund are completed. However, the 111-km Katra to Banihal section is under construction due to extreme geological conditions.

Major Benefits Of USBRL Project

The people of Jammu and Kashmir claim that significant economic development would occur upon completion of the project. It will also provide a reliable and hassle-free alternative to the people for transportation.

The project has also taken the country to a higher level, as India has shown its technological potential through the USBRL project. Laying down rail lines in the most challenging terrains is the most arduous task ever undertaken by the Indian Railways.

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