Link to Kashmir or one within it?

Only three months ago, this ambitious railway project was described by the CAG as a link “only within Kashmir, rather than to Kashmir”. The Pir Panjal tunnel, due to be inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, will still not connect the Kashmir valley with the national railway network.

The difference made by the tunnel is limited: the 145 km railway track in Kashmir, crossing the Pir Panjal range, has finally touched the Jammu region. It has however done so in a small town called Banihal, which in the 2001 census had a population of less than 3,000. The remaining 142 km of track connecting Banihal to Udhampur is nowhere near completion.

Full report here Times of India


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