The government today approved a proposal to sanction over Rs 19,000 crore for the Udhampur- Baramulla rail project that was announced over 17 years ago to connect Kashmir Valley with Jammu.
The approval was given at a meeting of the Union Cabinet, official sources said, adding that the fund will be utilised for building rail tracks from Katra in Jammu to Qazigund. The deadline for completion of the project is 2017.
Sources said the delay in completion of the 290-km railway project has led to cost escalation, necessitating sanction of more money.
Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, who was keen on getting this fund sanctioned, was also present in the cabinet meeting.
Work on the 119-km Qazigund-Baramulla track was completed in 2009. It is still underway for Udhampur-Katra and Katra-Qazigund sections and the deadlines for completion of the two sections have been set at 2013 and 2017, respectively.