Farooq Abdullah praises PM over launch of first electric train to Kashmir

Srinagar, Feb 20 (UNI) National Conference President and Member Parliament Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for dedicating the first electric train to the Kashmir valley.

PM Modi, who is on a visit to Jammu, flagged off the first electric train on Baramulla-Srinagar-Banihal-Sangaldan (in the Ramban district of Jammu) through a video conference at the railway station Nowgam in Srinagar on Tuesday.

“It is a very big achievement that such an initiative has been taken,” Member of Parliament Abdullah told reporters at the Nowgam station. “I congratulate the Prime Minister and the Railway Ministry, who contributed immensely to it.”

The former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister also congratulated the workers of the railways who worked tirelessly to bring the rail to Kashmir and hoped that this would be fruitful for the people of Kashmir.

“I hope the train from Katra will connect to Sangaldan very soon,” Abdullah said.

He said when roads were getting closed due to weather vagaries causing difficulties to the people and affecting the tourism sector, the connectivity of trains, which was immensely needed in Kashmir, would also boost tourism.

“The connectivity of trains would not only boost tourism, but people can travel to other parts of the country without any difficulty,” he said, adding that “the goods from Kashmir could be sent to other parts and can be transported from other parts of the country also without any hindrance.”

In reply to a question, Abdullah said that “for the past several years, we were hoping that the train would connect the valley in 2007, but due to the tough terrain, the railways had to construct tunnels to connect it.”

He said there were tremendous difficulties in connecting the train to the valley, but the railway managed to cross these difficulties, and today the first step has been taken. Hopefully, until June or July, the rail will completely connect with the rest of the country.

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