After 11 months, with revised higher fare train services resumed in Valley

Wajahat Shabir. Updated: 2/23/2021 10:23:00 AM Front Page

Srinagar: After remaining closed for over 11 months, the railway services resumed in Kashmir on Monday with an increase in ticket fare.

The railway services were closed last year in the month of March amid Covid-19. While as last week, the railway authorities had decided to resume the services today after operating empty trains on trial services on Sunday. The railway which is connected between Baramulla to Banihal is stretched to 137 Kilometers.

As per the reports, the departure time of railway services from Baramulla to Banihal started from 9:10 a.m. while trained departed from Banihal at 11:25 a.m. While all the 17 stations were sanitized properly as per the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP).

However, the travellers complained that the railway authorities had increased the ticket fare on every route.

“Earlier, we used to pay 10 rupees for the fare, now it has been increased 30 rupees. Though, the price is lower than what we pay to sumo drivers from last several months”, said Imran Malik, a resident from Srinagar.

“We had no idea about the increase in fare unless we reached the railway station in Baramulla. It was all of a sudden, the ticket fare has now been taken to 65 rupees from Baramulla to Banihal while earlier it was just 50 rupees”, said Ghulam Ahmad. “Moreover, we want authorities to run the train round the clock rather than the few rounds which have been initiated by the authorities”, he added.

Talking to TNN, Chief Area Manager Northern Railways Kashmir Saqib Yousuf said, “All the SOPs were at the place during the resumption of railway services today as every station was sanitized properly by the authorities”.

He added, “So far we have decided to start with two rounds of train services from Baramulla to Banihal and vice versa”. On being asked about the increase in the ticket fare, Saqib said that we have started charging the ticket fare as per the “mail express” with the minimum price being 30 rupees and the maximum being 65 rupees.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Regular Express rail service of India is known as Mail Express Trains run express where there is overlapping local train service available, and run locally at the tail ends of the line. An express train is one where the average speed, excluding halts, is greater than 36 kmph. Including halts, speed may sometimes fall into the 20s, for express trains.

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