Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project

01 Mar 2023

In 1994–1995, the 272 km Udhampur–Srinagar–Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project was approved. The project is expected to cost 370,120 million dollars, however as of March 2022, 267,860 million had already been spent on it. A total of 161 kilometres of the 272 km long USBRL project have already been given the green light. Construction has begun on the 111 km balance length between Katra and Banihal.

The timely acquisition of land by the State Government, the clearance of the forest by department officials, the deposit of funds by the State Government in cost-sharing projects, the relocation of infringing utilities, the receipt of statutory clearances from various authorities, the geological and topographical conditions of the area, the state of law and order near the project(s) site, and the number of working months in a given project's calendar year are all factors that affect the completion of any Railway project(s). All these elements influence the project's completion timeline (s).

There are currently 19 (nineteen) passenger special train services operating on the USBRL Project's Baramula-Badgam-Banihal stretch. In addition, Indian Railways continuously introduces new train services or expands current train services depending on traffic demand, operational viability, and rolling stock availability.

New Line Projects are evaluated considering the demands made by State Governments, Central Ministries, Members of Parliament, and other public representatives, as well as the needs of the Railways. As the process of receiving such suggestions is continual and constant, there is no central database kept of such requests. The proposals are evaluated based on their profitability, last-mile connectivity, augmentation of congested/saturated lines, socioeconomic considerations, missing links and alternative routes, including connectivity to tourist destinations, etc. This is a continuous and ongoing process that is dependent on the obligations of ongoing projects, the overall availability of funds, and competing demands.

The Minister of Railways, Communications, and Electronic & Information Technology, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, provided this information in a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

Related Stories