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The Union ministry of railways has initiated the updated survey and detailed project report (DPR) formation for construction of railway line from Baramulla to Kupwara in northern Kashmir.

The central government has recently approved the railway project from Baramulla town to the border town of Kupwara. 

A senior railways official informed that the process of survey has been taken up after the government of India gave nod to the project. “The survey of the railway line will follow up with the preparation of the detailed project report and estimation of cost before the work will be started on the actual project.”

He said that earlier also in 2010 a survey for the same was completed, but at that time it was due to various reasons that work was not started, which means that now the construction cost will be much higher than estimated cost in 2010.

“Survey of railway line between Baramulla and Kupwara (39 km) was completed in 2010-11. The estimated cost of the project at price level of 2010-11 was Rs 628 crore with rate of return (ROR) of (-) 7.48 percent,” he said adding that now updated survey has been taken up.

The railway line will be the extension of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link up to Kupwara in north Kashmir. Baramulla-Kupwara rail link project would be taken up under umbrella work by the Railways

The Baramulla- Srinagar-Udhampur railway project's completion has been delayed by over 16 years resulting in cost overrun of Rs 25,446 crore.

According to the Union ministry of statistics and programme implementation report, the cost of the project was estimated at Rs 2,500 crore when it was approved in March 1995, it was expected to be completed in 2002.  Since then it has missed several deadlines set by the successive union governments.

Demand for extension of rail link from Baramulla to Kupwara was forcefully projected by the Governor’s Administration before NITI Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant during his visit to Baramulla and Kupwara districts last year.

The work on Katra-Banihal sector of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link is still in progress as it passes through very difficult terrain.

It has several tunnels and the world’s highest bridge on the river Chenab in Reasi district. The iconic bridge will soar 359 metres above the bed of the river Chenab and will be 30 metres higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris. The bridge forms the crucial link in the 111-km stretch between Katra and Banihal. The bridge that is 1.3 km long is being constructed at a cost of Rs 1250 crore and will be ready next year.

The Banihal to Baramulla stretch of the Railway is most popular. Everyday around 15 pair of trains move on the 134.76-km-stretch from Banihal to Baramulla carrying over 30, 000 passengers daily.

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