Train to Kashmir not that far away

Train to Kashmir not that far away

Jammu is all set to come closer to Kashmir as the Railway officials have completed the crucial six-kilometre long tunnel on the Katra-Banihal section near Reasi. The tunnel, according to the officials, took four years to get completed.
The all-weather rail network is likely to be completed by 2023. Railway connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar will ease the pressure on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and would keep the landlocked Valley connected with rest of the country throughout the year.
Till date Railways has set up many deadlines to connect Kashmir with Jammu through a rail-link but these deadlines have never been met due to one or other reason.
The mountainous terrain through which the train has to chug has posed many challenges during all these years. Even if one goes by the new deadline set up by the Railways to connect Banihal with Udhampur it means that people of Kashmir would have wait to for four more years. So it means there is still a long way to go.
On the other hand the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway during the past few years has turned out to be the most unreliable road in the country due to it getting closed frequently. During the first six months of this year the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway remained closed for many days triggering shortage of essential commodities in the Valley.
If the train reaches Kashmir it could lead to situation easing out in the Valley to a great extent. Experts are of the opinion that tunnels which have been dug through the mighty Pir Panchal mountain range would help the train to ply smoothly even during the inclement weather conditions. People are hoping that Railway expedites the work on this vital project.