New Delhi: The cost of the project to provide
rail link to Kashmir Valley has escalated by over 6 times.
The 294-km-long Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail route was
initially estimated to cost Rs 2,500 crores as on March 2001.
However, according to the review report of the Ministry of
Statistics and Planning, the cost has been escalated to Rs
16,000 crores as on August 31, 2010, which is 6.4 times of the
Considered to be the most challenging rail project being
undertaken by the railways, the construction of the line is
expected to be completed by 2017.
"This is the most difficult terrain involving more than
1,000 major and minor bridges and many tunnels. There are so
many factors responsible for the delay and cost escalation,"
said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Train services were introduced in the Valley for the first
time two years back after completion of the 119-km-long
Qazigund-Baramulla section, which is part of the Kashmir rail
However, the train service was suspended on the route due
to law and order problem, the official said adding the service
would resume on return of normalcy.
According to railways, the Udhampur-Katra section and
anihal-Qazigund section, which are part of the project are
expected to be completed by March 2012.