Srinagar, Jan 30: Taking strong exception to the alleged ‘lackadaisical’ approach adopted by the Union Territory (UT) administration which has resulted in unnecessary halt in railway service in Jammu and Kashmir, Apni Party (AP) president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Saturday sought intervention of Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to ensure immediate resumption of train service.
“ Suspension of train service in the Jammu and Kashmir, particularly between Banihal in Jammu region to Baramulla in north Kashmir, including Srinagar, has caused immense sufferings to the local commuters”, Mr Bukhari said in a statement this afternoon.
He said that a time when the railways reserve services have been resumed in other parts of the country, J&K government seems to be a mute spectator to the miseries of thousands of people who would primarily avail the cheap and hassle free services on a daily basis.
“Maharashtra government has already resumed the sub urban train services for essential workers, women and other categories months ago. This is apart from the resumption of reserve train services across the country,” Bukhari said, while regretting the irresponsible approach of the J&K administration that is yet to formulate the requisite Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for resumption of train services in J&K.
Former minister Bukhari said that on an average around 15,000 to 20,000 people avail railway services in just Banihal to Baramulla section of Northern Railways in J&K and it is because of the administrative inertia that this hapless section of commuters have been left high and dry.
“These figures reflect just a section of the passengers who are provided with the tickets by the railway department in Banihal to Baramulla section on a daily basis. Over all the business community, essential workers, patients and student community in particular are suffering direly for want of railway facility,” Bukhari remarked.
He said that abrupt suspension of railway services in J&K since March 2020 has triggered colossal inconvenience to the local population. “Not to talk of the local business community but even severe losses have been incurred to the Railway department due to perpetual deferral of its services after the COVID-19 pandemic,” he remarked.
Bukhari said it is unfortunate that the J&K government has failed to facilitate the resumption of these essential services when the same are almost fully operational elsewhere in the country. “These services are on halt for the last one year and the J&K government should have by now set SOPs essential for its smooth operations,” he said.
Bukhari urged the Lt Governor to intervene at the earliest and ensure that the commuters are not inflicted anymore sufferings.