Jammu, Feb 24: Linking Katra town with the rest of India by rail will not affect the economic prosperity of Jammu city, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Monday.
Katra is the base town for the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine visited by millions of devotees every year.
Since all pilgrims arrive first in Jammu city before proceeding to Katra, the business community and people of Jammu have expressed apprehension that once a rail link is established between Katra and the rest of India, Jammu will lose as far as its economy is concerned.
“Jammu possesses a novel position in this regard and linking of Katra with railways would have no effect on the trade and economy of Jammu as it is the winter capital of the state and the hub of trade and economy,” Abdullah said at the foundation stone laying ceremony of a ropeway project here.
“All efforts would be made to convert this advantage of the city into economic welfare of the people.”
The chief minister said the launch of the project took a lot of time due to clearance from the Supreme Court, the forest advisory committee, the wildlife board and other environment protection agencies.
He said the establishment of a central university, construction of the fourth bridge over the Tawi river, construction of an artificial lake, a flyover and a golf course and the upgrading of the Jammu airport were significant projects launched by his government.