Train service to resume today
Single Train To Run On Qazigund-Budgam Stretch
UMER MAQBOOL DAR
Srinagar, Dec 22: The train services on Qazigund-Budgam stretch in the Valley would resume from Thursday after remaining suspended for the past five months.
“Single train would ply between Qazigund and Budgam from tomorrow,” Public Relations Officer of Northern Railways, Manish Tiwari told Greater Kashmir.
“We have made all arrangements for running the train service. The single train would run from Budgam to Qazigund in the morning and another would run in the evening vice-versa,” he said.
Tiwari said, frequency of service would be increased if trains were allowed to run successfully and “repair work on the remaining portion of the track would also be taken up.”
Sources told Greater Kashmir that the trial run has already been started as Northern Railways want to test the steps taken by government for ensuring the safety of trains and its property.
The rail services on 119-kilometre stretch that took eleven years for completion at the cost of Rs 3200 crore came to halt on July 31, with Northern Railways deciding to halt the services in the wake of summer unrest.
With railways suspending operations, nearly 138 non-locals employees out of 500 were sent on leave, but were called back after two weeks.
During this period, top officials of Northern Railways visited the Valley to discuss feasibility of resuming operations, but the state government didn’t show interest in quick resumption, as they were busy in law and order duties, sources said.
In August, General Manager NR, Shailendra Kumar Budhalakoti, met Director General of Police Khuldeep Khoda and Chief Secretary S S Kapur and then Minister of State for Railways, E Ahmed, who was part of the All Party Delegation, also held parleys with state government officials, but they expressed helplessness in running the services. The Divisional Railway Manger (DRM) Vishvesh Chaubey also visited the state, but that trip too did not yielded any result.
Finally with semblance of normalcy in the month of November, the Railways started repair work and till date work between Qazigund-Budgam track has been completed.
“We have spent Rs 3 crore on this track and if the trains are allowed to run by public, we wouldn’t only increase frequency of trains, but would also start repair work on Baramulla-Budgam route,” Vishvesh Chaubey, DRM Ferozpur division said.
The Inspector General of Railways, Naveen Aggarwal said; “whatever security arrangements were required, have been put in place.”
“We have sought public cooperation for running services and they were also desirous to see the train service restored. We appeal the people not to allow miscreants to cause damage to trains or its property, as it is their asset,” he said.
Nearly 800 paramilitary CRPF men, 350 Railway Protection Force personnel and 1600 JK policemen are on job of protecting tracks and railway property in the Valley.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 22 Dec 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 22 Dec 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 23 Dec 2010 00:00:00 IST
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