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The Delhi High court asked the centre to respond to a PIL alleging that the current alignment of the Katra-Qazigund rail link would cause “serious safety problem” for general public as the ministry has rejected the experts’opinion for an alternative alignment.

The Katra-Qazigund rail link project connects Jammu with Srinagar.

A bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath issued a notice to Railway Ministry and sought its response by July 24 on the PIL filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) through counsel Prashant Bhushan.

The PIL alleged the current alignment of the Katra- Qazigund rail link would cause “serious safety problem” for general public and the Railway Ministry has rejected the experts’ suggestions for including an alternative alignment.

“Eminent experts, senior railway officials and a high- level expert committee have raised concerns over the current alignment which most say overlooks the basic human needs of safety, security and comfort while travelling and makes the entire project unworkable,” the PIL said.

According to the NGO, “the alternative alignment is totally in consonance with international experience and practice of undertaking railway projects in mountainous and hilly region.

“Overlooking all the concerns, Railway Board, under the influence of vested interests, has gone ahead with the unsafe and unworkable current alignment even though an alternative alignment is eminently safer,” accroding to the plea.

The petitioner’s lawyer argued that when speeding trains would navigate the turns in tunnels in mountain regions, there would be a serious problem of safety.

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