Travelers left high & dry as DMU service on Jammu-Udr suspended

A notice pasted at Udhampur Railway Station informing about suspension of DMU service between Jammu-Udhampur & vice versa till March 5, 2019.
A notice pasted at Udhampur Railway Station informing about suspension of DMU service between Jammu-Udhampur & vice versa till March 5, 2019.

Trains shifted for Mahakumbh at Prayagraj

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Dec 25: Hundreds of daily commuters have been left high and dry as the Railway authorities temporarily suspended Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) service between Jammu and Udhampur route since yesterday.
The DMU service between Udhampur- Jammu and vice versa, which has been most popular mode of transport among the routine passengers on this route, particularly the Government as well as private employees for reaching to their destination on time, shall remain suspended for more than two months.
According to a notification by the Railway authorities, train number 74906/74907 between Udhampur-Jammu and Jammu-Udhampur shall remain cancelled with effect from December 24, 2018 to March 5, 2019.
Even as no reason has been listed for the suspension of DMU service, official sources told the Excelsior that the train has been shifted to Prayagraj (erstwhile Allahabad) for facilitating the pilgrims visiting the ‘Mahakumbh’, scheduled from January 15 to March 4, 2019.
The suspension of DMU service from Jammu to Udhampur and vice versa has irked the travelers, who held a protest demonstration at Udhampur Railway Station and registered their strong resentment against the decision of Railway authorities. They raised slogans against the Railway authorities and demanded immediate restoration of the DMU service for all seven days of week.
Already aggrieved over curtailing the DMU service from six times to once in a day, that too from Monday to Friday only, complete suspension of the service for more than two months has left the routine commuters high and dry.
It may be recalled that the DMU train service on Jammu-Udhampur track was started in April, 2005 and it was the first train service connecting the mountainous town to rest of the country in the first phase of the project that will provide a rail link to the Kashmir valley.
Earlier the Jammu-Udhampur service used to run DMU at least six times a day but after suspension of the service, single train was being run from Jammu-Udhampur-Pathankot and vice-versa once a day from Monday to Friday. It used to take off from Udhampur at 8.15 am and reach Jammu at 9.30 am while its departure time from Jammu to Udhampur was 5.30 pm. There are six halts in between the route, which include Ramnagar, Manwal, Sangar, Bajalta and Jammu.
Even as Malwa Express is also running from Udhampur via Jammu but it runs only once a day and due to foggy weather conditions, it is not arriving or departing as per the scheduled time, said Satpal Sharma, a local of Udhampur who is daily traveler on the route because of his private job at Jammu.
“The DMU was a big boon for the hundreds of travelers, especially the Government as well as private employees, who perform to and fro journey daily and suspension of the service has severely hit them,” he added.
Up in arms against the suspension of DMU service, the affected daily commuters announced to hold a strong protest demonstration at Jammu Railway Station and continue the token protests till resumption of the service. They threatened even ‘Rail Roko’ agitation if the authorities fail to facilitate the passengers.
Claiming that there are two fresh trains halted at the yard in Udhampur for setting into motion once the rail link is connected to Qazigund, they suggested that these trains could be pressed into service to facilitate the passengers on Jammu-Udhampur route till the time DMU service resumes.
Despite repeated attempts, there was no response from the concerned Railway authorities on suspension of the DMU service and the difficulties being faced by the travelers.