Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicated at more private participation in the development of Indian Railways on his first official visit to Jammu & Kashmir to inaugurate the Katra-Uddhampur train this morning.
“We want the railway stations to have better facilities than airports. This is our dream and it is not a difficult thing to do and this is economically viable too. I have discussed it in detail with my Railway friends. You will see a change in near future. In that, private parties would also be ready to invest because this is a good project economically and will benefit everyone. This would be a win-win situation project and we want to move ahead in this direction in the coming days,” the PM said. He was speaking after inaugurating the Katra – Uddham Pur (Vaishno Devi) train, named Shree Shakti Express. The Katra station is the country’s only entirely solar powered station. The Railway line is built at a cost of 1100 crore rupees over a period of twelve years. Six more rail services will cover the Katra station, the PM revealed. He spoke also about the need and plans to better cover the Himalayan states with Railway.
“This is a significant development and an important day as it will usher in a new revolution of development for Jammu and Kashmir and whole of India,” Modi said. In the future, there would be a Katra – Varanasi train too, announced Modi. The Railway budget is scheduled to be presented in the Parliament in four days.
Modi is also scheduled to participate in the inauguration of 240 MW Hydel Power Project in Uri sector of Kashmir today.
J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Governor Narendra Nath Vohra and other dignitaries welcomed the PM in the morning at Jammu Airport.