700 capacity train ferries 3000!

‘Increase Frequency, Bogies’

KHALID GUL

Islamabad (Anantnag),May 19: Commuters shuttling from various areas of south Kashmir to Srinagar and north Kashmir via train everyday have demanded that Railways should increase frequency and capacity of the trains.
 The commuters said that with highway getting congested with each passing day, the trains are the only viable and time saving option to travel.
 “The trains make only four round trips from Islamabad (Anantnag) to Srinagar; which is insufficient keeping in view the daily rush of passengers,” said Shah Arshad, of Islamabad town, who travels to his office in Srinagar and back on daily basis. “Even the physically challenged persons are unable to get the seat reserved for them,” said Shah.
 The other commuters complained that though the train has a capacity of 650 to 750 passengers but the number of passengers traveling is never below 3000 and even exceeds 5000 on Mondays and Saturdays.
 The number of bogeys in the train varies from 7 to 8, each with a capacity of around 90 passengers; however throwing the  norms to wind, the Railway authorities allow each bogey to be over crowded with three to four hundred passengers bundled like cattle inside,” said Jaleel Ahmad, another daily commuter, a lecturer in Baramulla , Degree College.
 He said that out of the maximum 8 bogeys two remain reserved for women commuters, who are almost negligible in number. “You can imagine what mess it must be inside the remaining 6, or 5, Bogeys,” said Jaleel. They (the commuters) added that every time they take a train to travel, they remain apprehensive of a mishap, which they say is inevitable due to heavy rush.
 Moreover, there are around 2000 commuters in south Kashmir who have a Railway pass allotted in their name. “I don’t understand the logic of allotting 2000 passes while your trains don’t have the capacity of even a half of that number,” says another commuter, Sajad Ahmad, working in civil secretariat.
 Sajad said the timing of the trains from Islamabad station was not convenient for daily commuters from south Kashmir. “The authorities should ply another train from Islamabad (Anantnag) railway station in the morning hours besides the one that operates from Qazigund Railway station for the convenience of daily passengers especially office goers,” he suggested.
 He also said that another train should also ply from Baramulla railway station in the evening hours.
 The commuters said that the Railway authorities should either increase the frequency and capacity of the trains or they should stop selling tickets beyond a certain limit.
 “Though stopping selling the tickets is not a good option but it will, to some extent, ease the pressure,” said another commuter.
 This month only the daily passengers traveling from south Kashmir towards, Srinagar, held protest demonstrations  at various railway stations including Bijbehara and Panzgam and halted the train after they could not find any space in the trains.
 “The halting of trains by passengers who are not able to get into the train due to paucity of space has become almost a routine affair and with authorities unmoved it is the commuters themselves who again have to suffer,” said a daily passenger,Arijimand Javed.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 19 May 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 19 May 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 20 May 2013 00:00:00 IST




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