Srinagar: Pilgrims to Vaishno Devi shrine
can travel directly to Katra base camp from next year with the
Udhampur-Katra link of the rail project to Kashmir likely to
be completed by this December, officials said Tuesday.
All bridges, tracks, stations and tunnels have been
completed on Udhampur-Katra Railway link and the project is
likely to be completed by this year end, they said.
Katra town in Reasi is the base camp for pilgrims to
Vaishno Devi shrine where an estimated eight million devotees
pay obeisance every year.
They said the longest transportation tunnel in the
country, which will connect Qazigund town with Banihal on the
either side of the Pir Panjal mountain range, is also expected
to be completed by the year end.
The 11-km tunnel is being constructed near the existing
2.6-km Jawahar tunnel, the gateway to Kashmir Valley.
However, the work on the section between Qazigund and
Banihal is expected to be completed by March 2012, they said.
The challenging section of the railway project between
Katra-Qazigund comprises 80 per cent length in tunnels and
The section passes through two important rivers Anji and
Chenab where mega bridges are under construction.