According to the Northern Railway sources, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will flag off the passenger train from Udhampur to Katra on February 2. Besides the PM, several other dignitaries including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge are likely to attend the inauguration ceremony.

The Commissioner for Railway safety has reportedly inspected the 25 kilometers long rail line of the northern zone on January 27, 28 and 29. A total of Rs 1050 crore have been spent on this rail project.

The 25-km stretch to Katra is an engineering marvel as the route has seven tunnels, 29 minor and nine major bridges with some of the bridges as high as 85 metres. The train services would prove to be a boon for the lakhs of pilgrims who visit the shrine every year. At present, they depend on road transport.

Udhampur-Katra route was slated to be commissioned during October but it got delayed after a portion of a tunnel caved in. The agitation in the valley last year also delayed completion of the section as the workers involved in the project left the site.


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