February 2008 News

Train Will Not Chug Into Kashmir In 2009, Says Abdulah

26 February 2008

Jammu: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah contested Railway Minister Lalu Prasad's claim that the train to Kashmir will roll this year. 'It will never happen in 2009, you take it from me,' Farooq Abdullah told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Jammu Tuesday. 'I challenge Laluji on this.' Abdullah, during whose tenure as chief minister in 1977 a foundation stone was laid for the rail track from Udhampur to Qazigund in Kashmir Valley, said that till date the railways has not been able to construct the track up to Katra from Udhampur. 'The most challenging portion is between Katra and Qazigund,' he said. The terrain is mountainous and is fragile geologically at places. Abdullah cited the example of the 52-km-long Jammu-Udhampur track. 'It took 25 years to reach Udhampur from Jammu. I don't know whether the train will reach to the Valley in my lifetime or that of the lifetime of my children.' On Lalu Prasad's Railway Budget presented to the Lok Sabha Tuesday, Abdullah said: 'These are sugar-coated pills because they have eyes on the coming elections.'

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