Chairman Railway Board Shri Vinay Mittal informed that the Pir Panjal railway tunnel the longest tunnel of India and second largest in Asia on Banihal-Qazigund section of J&K Railway line is now ready and trial runs of train operations are continuing on this section which will be opened shortly for regular train operations in about two months time from now. With the commencement of this Section, the Kashmir valley will be linked with the Jammu region by train. Shri Mittal said that Railways proposes to launch a multi –model travel package with cooperation of State Government of Jammu & Kashmir enabling passengers to travel from Jammu through Udhampur, Quzigund to Srinagar and Baramulla on a common rail-bus ticket. Chairman Railway Board Shri Vinay Mittal along with Financial Commissioner, Railways, Smt. Vijaya Kanth was addressing the National Editors’ Conference organised by Press Information Bureau here today.
Terming railway safety to be the top priority, Shri Mittal informed that the allocation for the safety related works has been increased in the Railway Budget 2013-14 by about 13% as compared to last year. Similarly, there is sufficiently increase in the passenger amenity segment also. Shri Mittal said that over the years there has been a significant reduction in the incidence of rail accidents as the number of consequential train accidents per million train kilometre has decreased from 0.41 in 2003-04 to 0.13 at the end of 2011-12, we will however strive to work towards a zero accident regime.