|PM Narendra Modi flagged off new train from Udhampur to Katra|
Udhampur to Katra Train Flagged off by PM Narendra Modi
"I congratulate the crores of devotees of Mata Vaishno Devi, who want to come here for pilgrimage from all across the country," Modi said while dedicating the train to the nation.
The prime minister said the new rail link will speed up the process of development in the state.
"The journey started by Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be continued... our priority is to win the hearts of every citizen of this state through development," Modi said.
Modi said the train is a gift not just for people of Jammu and Kashmir but for the whole of India.
At the function at the Katra station where Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was among others present, the prime minister refrained from touching upon any political issue facing the state.
The prime minister also allayed the fears of the people of Jammu, who feel that the direct rail link to Katra will have negative impact on the development of their city, saying the "development of Jammu will not be stalled."
A set of local trains from Jammu to Katra and Pathankot to Katra is also likely to be introduced to cater to the rush of Vaishno Devi pilgrims. An estimated 10 million devotees visit the shrine every year.
Railway Protection Force (RPF) has been stationed at vulnerable locations all along the track in protected bunkers to maintain round-the-clock vigil.
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