Rail travel catching momentum

Number of railway passenger increased hundred percent after the Prime Minister dedicated the 11 kilometer long Banihal-Qazigund rail link to the nation last month. Passengers have found fascination with this new mode of travel. But the result is that there is large scale overcrowding of railways in the valley in both sectors viz. Srinagar – Banihal and Srinagar-Baramulla. The number of travelers per day has risen to 18000 after the opening of Qazigund-Banihal rail tunnel. Chief Controller of Railways in Kashmir said in an interview that the large-scale increase in the number of travelers would naturally mean that more coaches shall have to be added and the frequency of trains shall have to be increased. But in all probability this is not going to happen that soon. It is a good decision on the part of railway authorities to keep an eye on the situation and wait for a few months to come to a final decision on how expansion in terms of coaches and frequency can be met. But the scenario of commuters going atop the railways and sitting on thereof is a very dangerous thing to do. The railway police authorities have the duty to check and stop this practice. Any accident happening on account of negligence of the railway police will be fraught with serious consequences and it will bring the railways to disrepute. That is not at all acceptable. The railway is going to play very crucial and historical role in changing the economy and lifestyle of the people of the State in general and of the valley in particular. As such all care has to be taken that railways run smoothly and without any mishap in the valley. We congratulate railway authorities for the good job they have been doing in Kashmir and people are eagerly waiting for the day when rail journey from Jammu to Baramulla will commence.

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