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PIX: A rail route that connects Jammu and Kashmir

June 27, 2013 14:36 IST

PIX: A rail route that connects Jammu and Kashmir

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday flagged off the first train connecting Banihal in Jammu region with Qazigund in the Kashmir Valley.

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Photographs: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com

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PIX: A rail route that connects Jammu and Kashmir

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The 18-km train journey from Banihal to Qazigund reduces the distance between the two towns by nearly half. The Banihal-Qazigund rail section includes an 11-km long tunnel, the country's longest, built at a cost of Rs 1,691 crore.

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Photographs: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com

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PIX: A rail route that connects Jammu and Kashmir

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The PM and Gandhi boarded the train before its departure and interacted with the school children. They returned to Banihal from the new tunnel.

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Photographs: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com

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Besides Dr Singh and Gandhi, others present on the occasion were Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Train service is already operational within the Valley on the 118-km-long route between Qazigund and Baramulla in north Kashmir. This was inaugurated by the PM on October 11, 2008.

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Photographs: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com

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The train will start regular operations from Banihal to Baramulla from Thursday making five trips daily beginning at 7.10 am from Banihal and 7.35 am from Baramulla.

The historic ride was shown live on a giant screen put up at the site. Supporters of Congress and National Conference were in good strength with party flags and banners on the occasion.

 


Photographs: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com
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