Breakthrough achieved on under-construction 10.2 km railway tunnel in Ramban

BANIHAL — The digging work was completed Tuesday on a 10.2 km tunnel connecting Sumbar and Dharam villages on the 111-km under-construction Banihal-Katra Railway link, an official said.

The breakthrough on T-48 Tunnel was executed by conducting a blast under the supervision of Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Railways S P Mahi, the official said.

“It is a major milestone achieved on the Kashmir rail project and with this, the digging work on most of the tunnels in Ramban and Reasi district stand completed,” a railway official said.

He said this is the fourth tunnel following the 12.6km tunnel T-49 between Sumber and Arpinchala stations, the longest tunnel of Indian Railways, which was completed in January this year.

The official said Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL) is a national project which is likely to be completed by next year.

Of the 272-km USBRL project, the work on 161 km was commissioned in phases. The first phase of 118-km Qazigund-Baramulla section was commissioned in October 2009, followed by the 18-km Banihal-Qazigund in June 2013 and the 25-km Udhampur-Katra in July 2014.

The work on the intervening stretch of 111 km between Katra and Banihal is under progress and is likely to be completed by next year, the official said, adding the Katra-Banihal section is traversing through the hilly terrain of the lower Himalayas, where geology is a major challenge.

It has a total of 37 bridges and 35 tunnels, he said. — (PTI)