Kashmir Train Service 2- runs- a- day rail service being restored by Feb end

Kashmir Train Service 2- runs- a- day rail service being restored by Feb end

Srinagar, Feb 15: The railway service in Kashmir which has remained suspended for the last 10 months owing to Covid- 19 will be resumed by the end of this month with two runs daily, senior railway officials said.

Speaking with the Greater Kashmir , a railways official said the Northern Railways has given approval for operating the railway service once a day between Banihal to Baramulla and vice versa. “ 35 trains have been approved to start operations for Northern Railways Ferozepur division. Out of 35 only one train service from Banihal to Baramulla and vice versa has been approved,” the official said. The official said train service in the Valley was likely to be restored after February 25. The approval for operating the train service in the Valley from Northern Railways comes days after Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole, wrote a letter to railway officials asserting that train service be restored in the Valley. The Div Com had also asked the Railways to increase the frequency of the train service in days to come.

When contacted, Chief Area Manager, Northern Railways, Kashmir, Saqib Yousuf said all the necessary preparations are being made to start this service. Yousuf said once the train service is restored, “ all the Covid- 19 guidelines by the government will be followed.” Railways in Kashmir have suffered losses worth crores due to suspension of train service.

As per railway officials, during normal days, 15 pairs of trains run over the railway line from Banihal to Baramulla and carry almost 30,000 commuters including students and government employees, except one day in a week. The 137- kilometer Banihal- Baramulla railway line has witnessed inclusion of state- of- the- art imported snow- sweepers and cutters to ensure effective clearance of the runway and train tracks during winters.

The suspension of the train service is causing hardships to commuters who have welcomed the announcement of resumption of the service. “ I prefer to travel by train but the disruptions make it very inconvenient for me,” said Muhammad Altaf, a commuter.

“ While travelling in passenger cabs or buses takes more time due to traffic jams, train service is more convenient for commuting long distances. The decision to resume train service is a welcome move," the commuter said.

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