Locals will get preference to run Kashmir's railroad: Kumar

Thursday, 19 June 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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SRINAGAR: Railway Minister Nitish Kumar said Thursday that locals whose lands had been acquired to set up the railroad in Kashmir Valley would get preference for jobs to run the network.

Kumar, who is visiting Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of the progress of the ambitious rail project across this Himalayan state, also said the entire state would be on the country's rail map by the year 2007 while the valley would be connected by an internal rail link between the north and south by next year.

The project to lay tracks in the difficult mountain terrain would employ the type of technology at present being used in Switzerland and Austria, the minister said.

Kashmir Valley's main railway station is currently coming up in Nowgam on the outskirts of summer capital Srinagar.

"This railway station would be the most modern in the country. It would have restaurants, reservation counters, waiting rooms and other facilities that would be second to none in the world," said a senior railway official accompanying the minister.

Kumar visited the Nowgam railway station site Thursday accompanied by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

Kashmir is currently not connected to the rest of the country by rail. The furthest rail link in the state is to winter capital Jammu, from where people generally travel to the valley by road.

Kumar also said the railways is undertaking an ambitious project to minimise accident risks across the country. For this, a computer-controlled automated traffic control system, fire-proof bogeys and shock sustaining passenger cabins would shortly be pressed into service.
Source: IANS
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