No date finalized yet for resuming train service in the valley : Railways

No date finalized yet for resuming train service in the valley : Railways

No date finalized yet for resuming train service in the valley : Railways

 February 16, 2021 :

Amid reports of resumption of rail services across the valley, Railway officials on Monday clarified that exact date of resuming train services has not been finalized yet.

“ Preparation is being done. As soon as the exact date of restarting the services is finalized, the same will be widely communicated,” Chief Manager Railways Saqib Yusuf told Media.

Earlier reliable sources had said that the Government has no plan of resuming train services from Banihal to Baramulla tracks yet, citing security concerns in the valley.

“ We have no idea of resuming train services across the valley,” an official wishing not to be named, had said earlier.

He had said amid the ongoing security scenario in the valley, it is impossible to restart the service without taking police, security forces and civil administration into confidence.

Few days ago rumors were rife that authorities may likely resume train services tentatively from February 17 onwards.

A communiqué by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir zone Pandurang K Pole had earlier requested Chief Area Manager, Northern Railways, Srinagar to make necessary arrangements for resuming train services tentatively from February 17 onwards from Banihal to Baramulla tracks. 

The communiqué has made it clear that trains at initial stages will make 3 to 5 rounds daily, which can be increased up to maximum possible/ at an old status with few weeks.

“ This is with regard to my telephonic discussion with you over the subject matter. 

You are requested to make the necessary preparations for resuming of train services tentatively from 17th February onwards daily at least 3 to 5 rounds may be started at an initial stage.

Later on it can be increased up to the maximum possible/at an old status within a few weeks,” a letter vide no. DivCom/PS/Misc/2020/3077-86 dated 08.02.2021 in possession of Rising Kashmir had stated.

A top police official had said that soon after Div Com’s communiqué to Railway Department, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir zone Vijay Kumar had directed all range of DIG’s of Kashmir range to submit the report into the matter which shall be communicated to this office at an earliest.

Pertinently the train services were suspended on August 4, 2019 a day before New Delhi scrapped semi-autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. 

The service was however resumed after months but due to outbreak of Covid-19 virus, it was again suspended in March 2020 which is still in place.

The suspension of the service has been giving tough time to commuters who have had to cover long distances from north Kashmir to central Kashmir or south Kashmir. 

According to data stated by railway officials, 15 pairs of trains run over the railway line from Banihal to Baramulla during normal days carrying 30,000 commuters particularly students and government employees.

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