State wants trains to run during Eid
A couple of days after the Railways decided to suspend operations for two days, fearing damage to the trains during the upcoming Eid festivity, Jammu and Kashmir has decided to take up the matter with the department.
“We will surely take up the issue with the Railways so that train services remain operational during Eid,” Chief Secretary BR Sharma told The Tribune.
The decision to suspend train service in the Valley on September 26 and 27 on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha was taken by the Railways after a meeting with the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Samoon.
Apprehending untoward incidents during the upcoming festival, the Railways had decided to temporarily suspend train services between Banihal and Baramulla. While the trains would chug normally on the day of Eid, September 25, services would remain suspended for the following two days.
The Divisional Commissioner said he had already urged the Railways not to suspend the operations.
“I have written to the Railways authorities not to suspend the train service for two days during the Eid festivity,” Samoon said.
Railways officials in Kashmir, though, claimed that they did not have any idea about the fresh communication from the Divisional Commissioner.
“The decision to suspend the train service was taken by the Railway Board after a meeting with state authorities. So I don’t think that the decision will be revoked,” said a senior Railways official in Srinagar.
It is for the first time after the train service was introduced in 2008 that the Railways had decided to suspend operations during the Eid, evoking sharp criticism from the commuters.
They argued that the Railways should step up security to ensure that no damage was done to its property.
“There is something seriously wrong with the Railways and the security men guarding the train infrastructure. The security should have been simply beefed up during these two days at all the stations and along the Baramulla-Banihal track,” said Haroon Ahmed, a student from south Kashmir.
“I wonder how the state government allowed such a move at first place,” Ahmed said.
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Saifuddin Soz has also urged the Railways to operate service during Eid days.
The Railways should refrain from such action as people across the Valley travel from one place to another to meet their relatives during the Eid celebrations, Soz said in a statement.
The train service is a big hit among the people, especially during the festival times, as other modes of public transports are usually not available across the Valley. Almost 20,000 people in the Valley commute by train on daily basis.