Union Minister for Railways, Suresh Prabhu Saturday said that the Central Government would soon prepare separate plan for Jammu and Kashmir in Railway sector so that it gets properly augmented by introducing new rails and also undertaking the work on other projects like Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch and Billawar-Bani-Bhaderwah. The Minister was speaking after laying the foundation stones of executing lounge, escalators, lifts and mechanized laundry and inaugurating the Multiplex complex at Jammu Tawi Railway Station here today. The Multiplex complex would have two portions of rail yatri niwas and passengers’ amenity center and other facilities. Minister of State for North East, PMO, Dr. Jatinder Singh, Speaker Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly Kavinder Gupta, Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh, Minister for Industries and Commerce, Chander Parkash Ganga, MPs Jugal Kishore, Shamsher Singh Manhas, Legislators, Satpaul Sharma, Rajesh Gupta and senior officers of Northern Railways and State Administration were present on the occasion. While highlighting recent initiatives taken up by the Prime Minister both within the country and abroad to revive Indian economy, the Minister said that it is due to his tireless efforts that the Indian economy has been showing positive growth and time is not far away when India will be surpassing China and emerging as a major economic force of the globe. He said the positive impact of the Prime Minister’s foreign visits and economic cooperation with world countries in improving FDI across so many sectors in India and inconsonance with the same railways have initiated major reforms keeping in line with the economic agenda of the Prime Minister. The Minister further maintained that the Railways has a pivotal role in ensuring that the economy of the country gets a flip and major reforms are underway in this sector, which would contribute in boosting the economic activities, creating job opportunities besides increasing the connectivity of the people. Suresh Prabhu said that Railways is also taking necessary steps to augment the existing infra besides also connecting Jammu and Kashmir State with rest of the country through railway. He said that a separate plan for Jammu and Kashmir Railway sector is in offing and action plan would be formulated soon. The Minister said that the railways would be soon providing marketing facilities to handicrafts being produced by various self help groups and artisans of the State so that the sector which is one of the main pillars of the State economy gets boost. He said that the world famous food items would also be given requisite boost by ensuring their easy transportation and related services. “The State being one of the most thronged tourist destinations would be provided with special tourist trains besides keeping in view the scope of religious pilgrimage new trains would also be introduced which would be connecting Jammu-Haridwar and other places in order to cater to the huge rush of tourists and pilgrims to this part of the country”, the Minister added and maintained that a satellite railway terminal would soon be constructed besides the ROBs to be constructed would be fully funded by the Centre as a special provision to the State. Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh, while speaking on the occasion, appreciated the recent initiatives of the Centre for ensuring speedy development of the State. He said that the Centre has been quite liberal in extending support to the State by way of several schemes in different sectors. Dr. Singh said that the Prime Minister’s package is historic initiative undertaken by the Centre for ensuring all round development of the State so that it becomes one of the model States in the Country. He said that the railways has an important role in integrating the valley and the State with the rest of the country and therefore the thrust should be on fast pacing the work on various other railway routes of the State which would also boost the tourism related activities of the State. Dr. Singh also called for opening a new railway terminal which should be having all the modern facilities. He also called for undertaking simultaneous work on the railway track on the express corridor being constructed from Delhi to Katra. Union Minister of State for North East, PMO, Dr. Jatinder Singh while speaking on the occasion, said that the railway has a tremendous potential in accelerating the economic activities of the State. He said that the people of the State have been demanding for constructing railway stations at Kathua besides having full-fledged railway division at Jammu for undertaking the repair and other related things, this he said would a long way in also providing the much needed employment opportunities to the people of the State. While referring to the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra corridor, the Minister said that the technical survey of the prestigious project has already been tendered and the focus would be to ensure it is timely completion. The Railway Minister and Deputy Chief Minister later, reviewed the pace of work on the RAPDRP project being implemented in the State by IRCON, a sister organization of the Indian Railways. The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary PDD, Chief Engineers, senior officers of the IRCON and State Administration. Suresh Prabhu directed the officers of IRCON to ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated time frame as already convened to the State Government and asked for strict compliance to the same. He said that they should be holding regular meetings with the officers of the State for removing bottlenecks if any for its timely completion.
2015 Kashmir Despatch