Union Ministry proposes 27 New Metro Rail Lines

01 Jun 2023

The Union Ministry for Housing and Urban Development has proposed twenty-seven new Metro rail lines, including Jammu and Srinagar. The Railways Ministry is preparing to connect Kashmir with all major destinations once the Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Rail Line (USBRL) is completed, expected by the end of this year or the beginning of next year.

According to official sources, the Union Ministry for Housing and Urban Development has been considering the proposals for the Jammu and Srinagar metro rail lines for the past two years. However, the approval for the 27 new metro rail lines will be granted in phases by the Urban Development Ministry, followed by approval from the Cabinet. The approval process will consider various factors, such as population, traffic load, feasibility, and funding.

Sources indicate that the approval for the Jammu and Srinagar metro rail lines may take some time, as these factors are carefully assessed. The Union Territory Government has submitted Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) worth Rs 105.99 billion for the metro rail projects in Jammu and Srinagar to the Centre for approval. The projects include Rs 57.34 billion for Srinagar and Rs 48.25 billion for Jammu.

The proposed Jammu Light Metro will operate for 17 hours a day throughout the year, while the Srinagar Light Metro will run for 17 hours daily during summers and 14 hours daily during winters. The metro rail lines will consist of elevated corridors, as underground tunnels were deemed unfeasible. The coaches of the Metrolite system will be modern, lightweight, and made of stainless steel and aluminium, equipped with an air-conditioning system.

The Jammu Light Rail System will span 23 kilometers with 22 stations between Bantalab and Bari Brahmana, while the Srinagar Light Rail System will cover a distance of 25 kilometers. This includes a 12.5 kilometer stretch from Indira Nagar to HMT Junction and another 12.5 kilometers from Hazuri Bagh to Osmanabad, featuring 24 stations (12 stations on each corridor).

Meanwhile, the Railways Ministry is also preparing to introduce trains that will connect Kashmir with major destinations once the USBRL is completed. The ministry has proposed running the Vande Bharat train between New Delhi and Srinagar, allowing passengers to reach Kashmir in the evening after boarding the train in the morning from the capital.

Sources reveal that several other trains are being planned to directly connect Kashmir with destinations such as Mumbai, Rajasthan, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and religious sites frequently visited by people from the Valley. Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Dr Jitendra Singh, mentioned that once the National Highway is completed, people will be able to reach from Jammu to Srinagar in four hours by road.

It is worth mentioning that the construction of the highest railway bridge in Reasi, falling in the parliamentary constituency of Dr Jitendra Singh, has been highlighted as a significant achievement of the Narendra Modi Government over the past nine years.

Sources also suggest that some of the trains currently operating up to Jammu, Udhampur, and Katra may also be extended to Kashmir. Additionally, the Valley will receive new trains, which will be finalized well before the completion of the railway project. Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had previously visited the highest railway bridge in Reasi district to review the ongoing work on the railway project.

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