Rail services resume fully in Kashmir after over 3 months

Huge rush of people at Sunday Market in Srinagar. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Huge rush of people at Sunday Market in Srinagar. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Huge rush of customers witnessed in flea market
Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Nov 17: Rail services in the Kashmir valley resumed fully today–over three months after being suspended due to security reasons- as the train chugged from Srinagar to Banihal through the restive South Kashmir.
The train passed through Srinagar station and the stations in South Kashmir before reaching Banihal.

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A railway official said that “rail service in the Valley fully resumed this morning as the train chugged from Baramulla towards Banihal”, adding there was only one run scheduled for Sunday while the train would make two runs on daily basis from Monday.
The Railways conducted two trial runs of the service on the Srinagar-Banihal stretch on Saturday and then another trial run on Sunday morning before the actual service started, he added.
Rail service in the Valley had partially resumed on Tuesday as the train chugged between Baramulla and Srinagar stretch of the railway line. The authorities have directed the Railways to ply the trains between 10 am and 3 pm only due to security reasons, the official said.
A beeline of passengers was witnessed at Srinagar Railway station, where they were waiting to board the train to Banihal
A passenger who was travelling on the train after a long time said that travelling in the train is not only cheaper, but is also safe. “A lot of time, which otherwise would have been wasted, is saved due to the facility of the train in Kashmir. We prefer to commute via train and now that the service has been restored, it shall continue to remain up,” said Altaf Ahmad.
Another passenger said that there are frequent jams on roads these days, and the train service is good for people during the early hours of rush in the morning and the evening. “We missed the train services, as we had to commute from Srinagar to our town in Banihal”, said Ghulam Muhammad, while waiting for the Banihal bound train to arrive at Srinagar station, adding that the service shall no more be halted.
Pertinently, the Railways in the Valley had suffered more than Rs 3 crore loss after its suspension before August 5, post stripping the erstwhile State of J&K of its special status, leading to lockdown for more than 100 days.
Meanwhile, the weekly flea market witnessed a huge rush of customers.
The markets remained open around noon, after which shopkeepers downed their shutters to join the protest against abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Few mini-buses have also started plying on some routes in the city and elsewhere in the Valley, the officials said, adding cabs and auto-rickshaws were also plying.
They said private transport was plying unhindered in the Srinagar city and elsewhere in the Valley.