After highway ban, no train service on Qazigund-Banihal track for 5 hrs

Srinagar,:  After banning civilian traffic movement on 97-km-stretch for five hours on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the authorities have now announced that no trains will chug between Qazigund in south Kashmir to Banihal in Jammu region between 1000 hrs to 1500 hrs from Wednesday.
However, train service on other routes will continue in the Kashmir valley, a railway official said.
Chief Area Manager, Northern Railway, Srinagar Mahesh Yadav said that a letter No Div.Com/Dev/63/2019 Dated July 2.2019 was received to regulate train service between Qazigund to Banihal in view of the annual Amarnath yatra.
In response to Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmad Khan’s directions, Mr Mahesh said that train operation will remain suspended between Qazigund and Banihal rail section from today (July 3) from 1000 hrs to 1500 hrs till completion of Amarnath yatra. The annual pilgrimage will end on August 15.
Trains coming from Srinagar, Budgam and Baramulla will terminate at Qazigund during this period (1000 hrs to 1500 hrs) of the day. However, before 1000 hrs and after 1500 hrs trains will run as per schedule normally on Baramulla-Srinagar-Qazigund-Banihal track.
Suspension of train service between Qazigund to Banihal will badly affect normal life as the National Highway will also remain closed during this period.
The authorities had banned civilian traffic movement to allow free and secure movement of vehicles carrying Amarnath pilgrims on the national highway, the only all weather road connecting the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country. However, the decision evoked sharp reaction in the valley.
The government order said the ban on 97 km-stretch from Qazigund to Nashri between 1000 hrs to 1500 hrs on the civilian traffic movement will continue till the conclusion of the annual pilgrimage to the holy cave.
After the Pulwama fidayeen attack in February this year in which 44 CRPF personnel were martyred, the administration had banned civilian traffic along the highway for twice in a week on Sunday and Wednesday to ensure the safety of security force convoys. The ban was later lifted after about two months.


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