Protesters disrupt trial run of Qazigund-Banihal train

KHALID GUL

Islamabad (Anantnag), Dec 27: The trial run of the train to connect Qazigund and Banihal was disrupted by a group of protesters accusing Northern Railways of reneging on its promises. The protesters were also demanding that the train should have a stop-over at Hillad village.
 Around 800 residents of villages around Qazigund blocked the tracks near Humu village, 4 KMs from the Qazigund Railway station. The locals, including women and children, blocked the railway track by erecting barricades and holding sit in.
 The protesters alleged that the Railway authorities had promised jobs for the members of families, whose land was acquired for construction of the Railway track but that to be proved to be hollow
 “Our agricultural land was our bread and butter and we were not willing to give it to the Railways but did so after our kin were promised jobs. Now that the Rail link is ready, the promises made to us remain unfulfilled,” said Muhammad Shaban, a protester.
 The protestors further said they were promised that there would be a substation at their village.
 “The authorities had promised us that the train would stop for few minutes in their village and as such Railway Station will come up in our village but it too has not been fulfilled,” said another protester, Muhammad Sultan.
 The locals threatened that they will not let the train ply unless the authorities fulfill their demands.
 Chief Controller Northern Railways, Nand Lal, said; “The jobs have been already provided to the locals. However, I have come to know that they were protesting for a stoppage. So, we called our train back to the Qazigund station.”
 He said that decision regarding the trial run will be taken after a meeting with the higher officials.
 Meanwhile, people of South Kashmir are jubilant over the completion of Banihal-Qazigund rail track and are eagerly waiting for the train to cross the Pir Panchal range.
 “We are quite excited that the train will chug off from Banihal as it would reduce the travel and also reap economic benefits for us,” said Rouf Ahmad, a resident of Qazigund.
 The residents hoped that Udhampur-Banihal stretch will be completed soon so that the valley is connected to rest of the country via Rail link.
 While the Baramulla-Srinagar-Qazigund link is functional for the past four years, this would be the first time that the trains will cross the mighty Pir Panchal Mountain range.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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