Kashmir to get 2 new passenger trains, 4 women buses

Kashmir Valley is all set to get two more passenger trains from Northern Railways, which will have limited stops between Baramulla and Banihal.

With the addition of two more trains, Northern railways train services will now reach to 26 in a day. The new trains will be flagged off by the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti in Anantnag Railway station tomorrow. Chief public relation officer (CPRO), Northern Railways, Neeraj Sharma said that the two passenger trains will be flagged off by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in southern Anantnag district in the afternoon. “New six days a week DEMU train no 74617/74618 between Budgam- Baramulla & 74619/74620 fast DEMU train between Banihal – Baramulla will be introduced on Thursday,” Sharma said.

He said that the trains will be 8-coaches with the same speed that are already running on the track but will have limited stops. “Four more service will get added with these two more trains, with two services to ferry passengers from Banihal to Budgam and another two from Budgam to Baramulla,” Sharma said. He said that the introduction of these two trains will reduce the travel time and also the rush of passengers during peak hours.

He said that the chief minister will undertake the train journey up to Baramulla herself in the new service. Besides Mehbooba, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, MP Muzaffar Baig, R&B minister Abdul Rehman Veeri, PDP general secretary Sartaj Madni will attend the function.

Sharma said that a parallel function will be held in Railway Board in New Delhi where Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabu will flag off the trains through video conferencing. Besides union minister Dr Jitendra Singh, all the MPs from Jammu and Kashmir, except Baig, will be present. Out of the 17 stations between Banihal and Baramulla, the trains will halt at Banihal, Qazigund, Anantnag, Srinagar, Budgam, Mazhom, Pattan, Hamre, Sopore and Baramulla, he said. With the introduction of these trains time table of other trains will change with effect from May 6 (Friday), which will be announced on Thursday.

Meanwhile, after the launch of five women-only buses, the Valley will have two-more buses for women only that will be flagged off by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti will flag off in Anantnag district to make travel of eves hassle free.

Four 19-seater State Road Transport Corporation buses will be launched tomorrow, out of which two will be exclusively used to ferry women passengers from Nowgam Railway station to Lal Chowk. Managing Director SRTC G.A.Sofi said that two buses will ferry women passengers from Nowgam Railway station to Lal Chowk and two will ferry women passengers on other routes.

Sofi said that the initiative has been taken after the directions of the chief minister to streamline traffic in the state, and ease commuters’ travel. “By the launch of women-only buses, travel will become convenient and hassle free for women,” Sofi said. He added that such a step is being taken first time in the last 30 years in the state.

MD said that SRTC is running a fleet of 30 passenger buses in Srinagar (20) and Jammu (10). Sofi said that the SRTC busses are driven by trained and experiences drivers and thus the chances of road accidents are very less. Besides the SRTC drivers are more accountable for their mistakes than others, he said. The women-only buses are being introduced in the state following the failure of the people to abide by the ‘8-seat women-only’ norm in passenger buses.



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