Busy schedule awaits prime minister in Srinagar

October 10th, 2008 - 2:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghSrinagar, Oct 10 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who arrives here Friday afternoon, has a busy schedule ahead on his two day visit to the valley.After inaugurating the first phase of the 450 MW Baglihar Power Project in the Jammu region, the Prime Minister will arrive here to hold consultations with the major political parties in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The consultations have been necessitated because of a lack of consensus among the political parties about the timing of the forthcoming assembly elections in the state,” sources here told IANS.

“Invitations for the meeting have already been extended to all mainstream political parties. The meeting is scheduled at 5 p.m. Friday at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar,” sources said.

The prime minister will hold a media conference here after the meeting with the political parties.

He is scheduled to spend the night in the Jammu and Kashmir summer capital Srinagar.

On Saturday, Singh will inaugurate the valley’s first train on the Qazigund-Srinagar-Rajwansher section connecting south and north Kashmir districts.

The ambitious multi-billion Kashmir rail link would finally connect the landlocked valley with the rest of the country after it becomes fully operational next year.

Rs.22.75 billion have been spent on the Qazigund-Baramulla section of the rail link in the valley which is 119 km long.

The Kashmir rail project was accorded national project status by the central government in 2001.

Laying the rail link between the valley and the rest of the country has been Indian railways’ most challenging task.

The prime minister will board the train on its symbolic run after flagging it off from the Nowgam station near Srinagar Saturday morning.

The diesel multiple unit (DMU) train has air-conditioned coaches with push-back seats and heating arrangements to suit the weather conditions in the valley.

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