Anantnag, Nov 17: Even after eight months, train services are yet to resume in Kashmir leaving the travellers high and dry.
Locals from different areas of Kashmir questioned that if everything is functioning normally in Jammu and Kashmir after Covid-19 restrictions were eased down, then why train services continue to remain suspended.
Shabir Ahmad, a resident of Anantnag district of South Kashmir told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that as people have been economically hit hard by Covid-19 lockdown, there is need that government must resume train services at an earliest as it is a cheaper means of transport.
He said in absence of train, we are witnessing traffic jams at different locations on national highway as everyone is forced to use road transport in absence of train services.
M Ashraf, a resident of Budgam said: “I am posted in Kulgam district and half of my salary per month gets spend on fare only, however, when train services were on, my fare expenditure was just 5 percent of that what I have to spend today.”
Pertinently, train services in Jammu and Kashmir were suspended on March 19 after outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
Notably, Banihal-Baramulla Train services were resumed on Nov 11 after remaining suspended for around more than 3 months after abrogation of special status of J&K.
Railway suffered a loss of around Rs 2 crore for remaining suspended from August 05 to November 11 after abrogation of article 370.
An official of the railway when contacted said that if UT government wants to resume rail services, they need to write to northern railways authorities for permission, however, J&K Government hasn’t written so far in this regard.
Meanwhile, a top official in the administration told KNO that the services were halted due to Covid-19 pandemic and a review will be soon conducted to take a call on resuming the services.