“The train always arrive at your station, The question is which one to take?”

  1. On 4th July 2014, when Narendra Modi dedicated the rail line between Udhampur – Katra to the Nation, it has made a dream come true which was seen by the people of J&K in 1890 when a length of approx 30kms rail line was linked between Sialkot & Jammu. Nothing much was done since Independence till late 90s in 20th century. The state remained aloof from the development programmes of the nation. India is now planning for dedicated Freight Corridor in rest part of the nation, the state of J&K is now welcoming a rail line between Jammu & Baramulla.


  • The reasons for this delay can be traced in the complex geography, geology, politico-economic aspects of the state. The state of J&K is interspersed with many ridgelines such as Pirpanjal, Shivaliks, samsabari, and Karakoram. The Pamir knot act a tri-junction point for the region in north Ladakh the Greater Himalayas runs east giving a gradual slope in west. During Independence, Jammu was not even connected to India as it was more accessible from Pakistan. In 1972 the station of Jammu was formally connected to New Delhi.
  • The state of J&K lies on the tectonic plates on zone-V  making it most vulnerable to earthquakes. The area also has a very erratic weather with heavy rainfall & snowfall  in winters to hot summers. This adds to extra load to structural stability of earthwork enroute. The state also has valleys, gorges & mountains which entail the requirement of tunnels, bridges and retaining walls, increasing the overall cost of the project.

      Baramulla-Banihal-Udhampur-Jammu rail link

  • The Baramulla- Jammu railway link connects the Kashmir valley with Jammu and finally to New Delhi. After completion, this line will be an all weather convenient and cost effective mass transportation system and will act as a Catalyst for the overall development of the northern most alpine region of the Country.
  • The rail line between Banihal – Qazigund – Baramulla is already commissioned with a total length of around 140 Km 5185 Cr. The last leg of this rail link between katra – Banihal alone will cost around 21653 Cr with a length of 111 Kms. The mega project of 1315m iconic highest bridges in the world is under construction in Katra – Bannihal section. PM Narendra Modi has already set Aug 15, 2022 as deadline for the completion of Katra – Banihal – Srinagar – Baramulla rail link project.

      Socio – Economic Effects

  • A developed society always acts as a Catalyst in economic development which in turn uplifts the society itself. This cycle drives any region towards development. With the coming of railways in totality to Srinagar, it will bring people of valley more closer to New Delhi both ideologically & physically. The influx of people into valley will not  only bring the modernization but also generate  more employment opportunities.

There is a majority of population, who have not even crossed Banihal in their entire life. They will also be able to look through Banihal tunnel  & see the overall development occurring  in the rest of India.

  • Any Industry requires a reliable and cost effect mode of transportation for both raw material & finished good. The passenger cost from Baramulla to Banihal by Civil Transport costs from  few thousands in hired taxi to thousand in buses whereas a ticket of DMU cost around 100 Rs. This will give a major boost in industrialization of valley. The distance of 161 Kms which takes around 4 hrs by road can be covered in 3 Hrs between Baramulla-Banihal saving time penalty. When the Jammu – Baramulla rail line will be commissioned, it will save fuel, time and cost. This will give a viable business environment in valley.

      Politico – Security Impact.

  • With two adversaries encircling  the entire state, it is imperative upon the Govt to improve the connectivity in the region. Peoples Republic of China in recent years has invested heavily on both Rail as well as Road network in TAR, which can threaten the sovereignty  of India. PRC is constructing high speed rail network all along the Indian boundaries. PRC has already constructed Sichuan – Tibet railway connecting Lhasa in TAR to Nyingchi. This alignment is expected to come till Xinxang region which just opposite to LAC.
  • Pakistan has extensive Rail network in Punjab province as well as Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province. The rail lines runs all along LC in J&K. This give an upper hand to both the adversory countries along  J&K and Ladakh. This increases the requirement  of rail network in both the UT’s. The force manifestation will be slower if railway is unavailable.

      Way Ahead

  1.   The extensive rail network in Kashmir & Ladakh will bring people closer. This will act as a wheel in the development of society, generating equal opportunity of jobs as compared to any other part of India. Tourism will get a major boost, the local handicraft will get a cheaper mode of transportation. This will motivate the youth to join the mainstream of development. The security concern of the nation will also be met. The ease of troops induction, defense  infrastructural development will get a major push.

Maj Rahool Kumar

Leave a Reply