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PM Modi opens India’s longest transportation tunnel in Jammu

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PM launches Rs 32,000-crore worth projects in J&K including for education, railway, aviation and road sectors

JAMMU, Feb 20: The longest transportation tunnel of the country on the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) was opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday as he flagged off the first electrified trains of the Kashmir valley.
“Prime Minister Modi was present in Jammu and he virtually flagged off two electrified trains simultaneously — one from Srinagar to Sangaldan in the down direction and the other from Sangaldan to Srinagar in the up direction,” a railway official said.
Over 100 school children and their teachers took the inaugural trip from each side as special guests.
The official added that the prime minister also inaugurated the 48.1-km-long Banihal-Khari-Sumber-Sangaldan section. “This longest tunnel, which is 12.77 km long and known as T-50, falls between the Khari-Sumber section,” the official said.
According to experts associated with the project, the first section of the USBRL – the Quazigund-Baramulla section — was operationalised by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in 2009. In July 2013, the Banihal-Quazigund section, which included the operationalisation of the 11.2-km-long T-80 Pir Panjal tunnel, was opened.
Meanwhile. National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the railway ministry on Tuesday for launching new rail projects for Jammu and Kashmir.
“This is a big step by the railway ministry and Prime Minister Modi and we welcome this initiative. (We) congratulate them on achieving this milestone,” Abdullah, who is the Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar, said about the flagging off of new trains between Sangaldan in the Jammu division and Baramulla in the Kashmir valley.
He said the rail link will connect Kashmir with the rest of the country as highway closures used to be a big challenge for Kashmiris. PM Modi also flagged off the first electric train in the valley and a train service between the Sangaldan and Baramulla stations. (PTI)

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