Katra-Banihal Rail link face hurdles at Tunnel 1 near Katra

Katra-Banihal Rail link face hurdles at Tunnel 1 near Katra 
Jammu, May 04: As the entire country is waiting to get connected to Kashmir through railway line, the major hurdle which the northern railway is facing is in tunnel 1 near Katra.

The 3.2-km-long tunnel may take another six to seven months to get completed.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), taking a train to Kashmir valley has become a herculean task for the northern railways as they had to overcome several technical as well as geological issues in boring tunnels and laying the railway track.

“Though the biggest achievement for Konkan railways, construction agency, was to construct the 359-meter tall world’s highest single arch railway bridge over river Chenab connecting Bakkal and Kauri villages of Reasi district but the construction of Tunnel 1 near Katra is giving tough time to the construction agency,” said a source in Konkan railways.

The source said that there was a time when engineers thought of giving up the work on the tunnel but with the use of advanced technology, boring was completed by overcoming all the hurdles. “Now, the heading and benching work is undergoing and with all the difficulties and hurdles like cavities and other things engineers are ensuring the work is completed as soon as possible. Once the heading and benching is completed, laying of track will be done,” he said.

“It may take another six to seven months if things remain alright and no further issues explode,” he added.

The 338-km-long Jammu to Baramulla rail link will connect Kashmir valley with the rest of the country through rail link and besides road and air connectivity, people will be able to reach Kashmir through train.

Geologists had warned the northern railways and executive agency in the beginning of main boundary thrust issue on the line which is having young mountains, presence of water and loose strata. “These mountains have continuous growth which leads to cavity at many places and at times leads to major damage to the structures including the tunnels. The construction agency has to face similar challenges on regular intervals, due to which the project is getting delayed,” the source informed.

Moreover, the train service between Sangaldan and Reasi is almost ready with few smaller technical issues. “Within a month or so it is expected to start the train service between Sangaldan and Reasi which will add another feather to the cap of Konkan railways. Once the green signal is give the train service will pass through the highest railway bridge as well,” he added—(KNO)
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