Kashmir train service to remain suspended for 1 more week

The service will remain suspended till May 24 in view of worsening of Covid-19 situation in Kashmir [GK File Photo]
The service will remain suspended till May 24 in view of worsening of Covid-19 situation in Kashmir [GK File Photo]

Amid the alarming Covid19 situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the authorities on Sunday extended the suspension of the train services on the 137-kilometre Banihal-Baramulla rail line till May 24. Earlier, on May 10 the railway services were suspended for one week after Covid situation had worsened.

The decision to extend the suspension of train service comes at a time when the Valley is witnessing a strict Covid lockdown for the last 17 days.

Chief Area Manager (CAM), Northern Railways, Kashmir, Saqib Yousuf told Greater Kashmir that as per an order issued, the rail service will remain in suspended for one more week.

"The service will remain suspended till May 24 in view of worsening of Covid-19 situation in Kashmir," said the official, adding that further orders regarding extension of suspension or otherwise will be taken next week

Earlier, the railway 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 this year had brought cheer among travellers.

However, on last Monday hundreds of passengers could be seen flouting the Covid-19 SOPs by not maintaining the social distance at the railway platforms.

Pictures that became viral on social media showed how people were not following the guidelines while boarding and de-boarding. Many of the travellers could also be seen wearing the facemasks not properly.

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

The train 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 in crores of rupees.

As per railway officials, during the days prior to Covid-19, 15 pairs of trains used to run over the railway line from Banihal to Baramulla and carry almost 30,000 commuters including students and government employees, except one day in a week.

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