SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Friday asked the government of India to consider the possibility of starting metro train services in the two capitals of the state.
An official handout issued here said the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, urged the government of India’s Railway Minister, Suresh Prabu, to explore “the possibility of starting metro train services in the capital cities of the state and also asked for constitution of an expert committee for the same”.
Deputy Chief Minister was interacting with Prabu, who was on a tour to the state.
“There is an urgent need of providing metro services to the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, which witnessed large scale urbanisation. Besides, the population of these two cities has also increased geometrically, leading to increase in traffic-related problems,” Singh told Prabu.
“The metro service could provide much needed remedy to solve the traffic woes,” he said.
In order to give a boost to the tourism industry, which is the “main stay” of the economy of the state, the railways should also connect the rail link between Kathua-Basholi-Bhaderwah and Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch, Singh said.
“These routes may be sanctioned so that the people of these areas also get the requisite connectivity with different areas of the state and interconnectivity of the Jammu and Kashmir is increased,” he said.
At present, about 30,000 people travel by train every day on the Banihal-Baramulla track. Work on the tough Katra-Banihal track, spanning around 111 km, is in progress and is expected to be completed by 2020. This stretch is full of tunnels, flyovers and under-bridges, and the arch bridge over the river Chenab between Kouri and Bakal is slated to be the tallest bridge of this type in the world.
The Deputy Chief Minister also asked for setting up of an industry linked to the Railways department to provide employment opportunities to the youth of the state.
Referring to the fast pacing of the RAPDRP Part-II in the state, the Deputy Chief Minister urged the Union Minister to pass the necessary instructions to the executing agency, IRCON, which is a subsidiary organisation of the railways, to ensure completion of the project by the stipulated time period–March 2016.
“The PDD of the state is facing lot of hardships in providing better power supply to the public due to the slow pace of the work being done by the executing agency and there is a dire need of completing the project so that the people of the state get benefitted from the project,” he said.
The Union Railway Minister assured the Deputy Chief Minister that he would address all the issues within the “shortest possible time”.