Srinagar: With the incessant curfew, restrictions in place and no respite in the Hard-line separatist protest calendar, the current Kashmir unrest has hit the train services across the Indian Kashmir. No train has run on any of the routes for nearly three months now.
“Due to the current crisis across the valley, we have to stop the train services. It is very difficult to provide the services in this situation as every sector is bearing the brunt of the current unrest,” Chief Area Manager Northern Railways Upinder Singh told Agence India Press.
As the streets across the valley continue to burn, the Railway services according to Singh have to be stopped in view of security reasons.
“Our Sopore station was attacked and ransacked by the angry protestors and at many places we received the complaints about the damage of railway tracks. Then we decided to stop the services from 31 July.”
However, Singh maintained that the rail services will be resumed very soon.
“We are receiving many requests from the people itself to resume the railway services,” he added.
With the current unrest gripping every sector in Kashmir, Northern Railway had suspended its operations on 119-kilometre Qazigund-Baramulla track on July 31 and since then it has been waiting for normalcy to return.
Near1y 138 non-local employees who were sent on leave have returned but there seems no immediate hope about railway services resuming.
Reportedly General Manager Northern Railways Shailendra Kumar Budhalakoti had met the Director General of Police Khuldeep Khuda and Chief Secretary S S Kapur last week to ensure the security.
It is understood that Railways had sought protection for its properties and men from the state government. The government, according to sources, expressed its helplessness saying, “Our immediate priority is restoration of law and order.”
Meanwhile a regular train Passenger and a government employee posted at Degree College Kupwara Ishfaq Ahmad said that due to the closure of train services in the valley, passengers like him have to suffer a lot.
Ahmad used to travel each day from Anantnag to Baramulla and the closure of services has pushed him to the lot of hardships.
“It was easy and comfortable for me to travel through train but now I have manage the transport and it is time consuming and affects my pocket as well,” Ahmad Said.
The Railway Protection Force and state police provide security to train services with former manning 15 stations and latter tracks. The paramilitary CRPF also provides assistance in protection of stations but still the authorities have failed to provide the train services to Kashmiris.
Meanwhile Chief Public Relation Officer Northern Railways Manish Tiwari told Agence India Press that they were keen to restore services.
“Some kind of semblance of normalcy is needed to repair the damages,” he said.
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