Kashmir train service again suspended till June 16

Kashmir train service again suspended till June 16
Photo: Mohammad Taskeen/GK

Srinagar, June 9: Amid the prevailing Covid-19 situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the authorities on Wednesday extended the suspension of the train services on the 137-kilometre Banihal-Baramulla rail line till June 16 . After witnessing normal operations for almost three months, railway services were suspended from May 10 after Covid situation had worsened.

The decision to continue suspension comes at a time when the Valley is witnessing gradual reopening of Covid lockdown.

Chief Area Manager (CAM), Northern Railways, Kashmir, Saqib Yousuf told Greater Kashmir that as per orders the rail service will continue to remain suspended till June 16.

Earlier, the service in the Valley had remained suspended for almost 11 months owing to the situation arising out of the first wave of Covid-19. The resumption of the service in February had brought cheer among travelers.

However, in April hundreds of passengers could be seen flouting the Covid-19 SOPs by not maintaining the social distance at the railway platforms. Pictures that had gone viral on social media had shown how people were not following the guidelines while boarding and alighting from the trains. Many of the travelers could also be seen not wearing facemasks properly.

The unprecedented rush of passengers at the Srinagar railway station in April end was so much that crowd control had become difficult.

The train service in Kashmir had also remained suspended in 2019 for several months after the government of India scrapped the special constitutional status of J&K. Frequent suspension of train service has caused railways losses worth crores of rupees and subjected the commuters to difficulty.

As per railway officials, during the days prior to Covid19, as many as 15 pairs of trains used to run over the railway line from Banihal to Baramulla carrying almost 30,000 commuters including students and government employees.

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