10 July 2015


Hon’ble Minister for Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu today flagged off four new pair of DEMU trains No. 74613/74616 and No. 74614/74615 in the Kashmir Valley region at a ceremony held in the august presence of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Sh. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, at Srinagar station o­n 10.7.15.  The distinguished guests present o­n the occasion include Hon’ble Dy. Chief Minister, J &K, Dr.  Nirmal Kumar Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State for Railways, Govt of India, Sh. Manoj Sinha, Hon’ble Minister  for Revenue, J&K, Shri Javaid Mustafa Mir,  Hon’ble Member of Parliament, (Lok Sabha), Shri Tariq Hameed Karra, Hon’ble Member of Parliament (Rajya  Sabha), Shri Shamsher Singh Manhas, Shri Abdul Ghani Kohli, Hon’ble Transport Minister( Independent Charge), J & K, Shri Sunil Sharma, Hon’ble Minister for Revenue and PWD, J & K. Top executives from the Railways include Sh. A.K.Mital, Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A.K.Puthia, General Manager, Northern Railway.

           The above two pairs of new trains add to the existing fleet of 11 pairs of DEMU trains servicing in the Kashmir region. With this introduction, the DEMU fleet thus included four pairs of trains between Baramula and Banihal, three pairs of trains between Baramula and Badgam and six pairs of trains from end-to-end of the rail section viz. between Badgam and Banihal.

Following the inaugural run today, No. 74614/74615 Baramula-Banihal  and No. 74613/74616 Baramula-Budgam shall commence regular services from tomorrow i.e. 10.7.2015 on all days of the week except Saturday are as under:-

          Train No. 74614 Baramula-Banihal DEMU shall depart from Baramula at 08.35 a.m. to reach Banihal at 11.30 a.m. the same day;
while in the return direction, the 74615 shall depart from Banihal at 11.40 a.m. to reach Baramula at 02.40 p.m. the same day. The enroute stoppages include Sopore, Hamre, Pattan, Mazhom, Budgam, Srinagar, Pampore, Kakapora,Awantipura, Panjgam, Bijbiara, Anantnag, Sadura, Quazigund and Hillar Shahbad Halt stations.

Train No. 74613 Budgam- Baramula DEMU shall depart from Budgam at 07.30 a.m. to reach Baramula at 08.25 a.m. the same day; while in the return direction, the 74616 Baramula-Budgam DEMU shall depart from Baramula at 03.00 p.m. to reach Budgam at 03.55 p.m. the same day. The enroute stoppages include Sopore, Hamre, Pattan, and Mazhom stations.

Hon’ble Chief Minister of J & Ksaid linking of Jammu with Kashmir region by train was a fulfilment of a dream that seemed improbable some years ago. He said the project was a matter of great pride for which the Indian Railways had to overcome huge challenges. “Rail connectivity will change the lives of the people by promoting trade and tourism sectors,” he said.

Describing railways as the most preferred mode of transport for poor and common masses, the Chief Minister urged the Union Railway Minister to give special attention to Kashmir Railway Project so that the people of Valley also take benefit of the cheapest mode of transport. “It is my dream to see Kashmir connected with other parts of the country through a well-laid out network of trains,” he stated and added that it will be a turning point in the history of the state o­nce we are able to connect Kashmir with the rest of the country.

Speaking o­n the occasion, the Railway Minister Shri Prabhu stated that the Railway has kept up with its commitment to strengthen the rail services in the region for greater connectivity. In keeping with the public demand for enhanced services, the Railway has planned to move 12 more DEMU coaches for strengthening rail services. He also stated that expeditious efforts are being taken to complete the rest of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramula rail line (USBRL) project. He assured that he will leave no stone unturned to see that Katra-Banhial Railway Line is completed within the stipulated timeframe.The Railway has also proposed to set up a High-Level Joint Committee with the State Government to hold frequent meetings to promptly address all concerns to hasten early completion of the project and step up progress of tourism in the region. Shri Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways also voiced similar opinion regarding focused efforts for expediting the project and also drew attention to the Railway’s commitment for commissioning of the Udhampur-Katra link in the recent past.

Hon’ble Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Sh. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed hosted an Iftar function at Srinagar followed by a Star Dinner hosted by Hon’ble Minister for Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu. During their meeting, the two leaders discussed wide-ranging issues relating to introduction of more train services and completion of Katra-Banihal Railway Line within the stipulated timeline.

Once complete, the Katra-Banihal railway line will provide all-weather link to Valley with the rest of the country.

The Chief Minister stressed o­n putting in place an institutional grid to fast-track progress o­n all issues pertaining to construction of Katra-Banihal Railway Line. The proposed high-level Committee shall have o­ne Nodal Officer each from the State Government and the Union Railway Ministry, which will regularly meet to iron out the issues and expedite work o­n the most difficult stretch.

Chairman, Railway Board, informed the meeting that out of the 111-km Katra-Banihal rail stretch, nearly 85 km comprise laying of tunnels and 8-10 km bridge length o­n very rugged and difficult terrain.

Describing railway connectivity as vital all-weather alternate link in the State, the Chief Minister requested the Union Minister to introduce special services likePalace o­n Wheelsat various tourist destinations. He also suggested opening of new Passenger Reservation Service (PRS) Centres at Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg and Patnitop to facilitate the tourists.

Suresh Prabhu indicated to the Chief Minister starting of a train service, with support from Indian Railways Catering and Tourism  Corporation, exclusively for tourists in which renowned Kashmiri cuisine, the wazwan, will be served to the visitors. To promote State’s artefacts, Suresh Prabhu said his Ministry will reserve stalls at vantage points o­n various railway stations under the 'Station Development Programme' of Indian Railways.

On the issue of implementation of R-APDRP, a major part of which is being executed by IRCON, the Chief Minister requested the Union Railway Minister to ask CMD IRCON to hold periodic review meetings with the State Government authorities to speed up the implementation.

Hon’ble Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Sh. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed sought

1.Expeditious completion of the rail line project in the State

2.Drew attention to offer of jobs by the Railways to owners of land acquired for purpose of rail line construction.

3.Proposed for running of Tourism oriented special luxury trains akin to Palace-on-Wheels and other special trains to boost tourism activity

4.Proposed for Setting of Joint team comprising of Railways and State Government officers  and suggested that the team meet frequently for expeditious completion of rail project.

5.Opening of more PRS Centres for rail tickets at Gulmarg, Sonmarg and Patnitop.

6.Raised the matter of developing 200-km access roads constructed by Indian Railways as part of the Railway Line Project as alternate road link between Katra and Srinagar.

Hon’ble Minister for Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu drew attention to

1.Provision of adequate security for railway personnel in case of agitation.

2.Supply of adequate water to railway stations by PWD

3.Suggested Joint Public Relations exercises to improve the image and enhance tourism activity.

Hon’ble Minister for Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu also called o­n Dr. Nirmal Singh Dy. Chief Minister, J & K.