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Troubled Kashmir Gets Something To Cheer – First Train Service Inaugurated

Posted on: October 11, 2008

First Train Service In Kashmir

First Train Service In Kashmir

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh flagged off the first train service in Kashimir on Saturday, 11th October at Nowgam station amidst tight security despite heated protests which left 2 people dead. He was joined by Congress Party President, Sonia Gandhi and Railway Minister, Laloo Prasad Yadav for the low key ceremony. Earlier on Friday, Manmohan Singh inaugurated a Dam in Baglihar which is a disputed region even though there were protests from Pakistan.

Manmohan Singh Inaugurating The Train Service

Manmohan Singh Inaugurating The Train Service

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the staring of this train service as a “Dream Come True”. “Our intention is that the future of Kashmir should be socially, economically and politically bright”, he added.

Many people have been hurt and over 30 killed in clashes between security forces and separatists elements in Anti-India protests which have dominated the state over the past couple of months since August. As the Prime Minister arrived here for the inauguration, the separatists have called for a 2 day strike across the state.

Separatists Protest In The Valley

Separatists Protest In The Valley

The train links Qazigund in the South to Baramulla in the North as of now and was built with tremendous difficulties due to the ruthless mountaneous terrain and security issues. The project was started in the year 2000 but had to be paused for a while in 2004 when an engineer and his brother were killed by suspected millitants. Although the entire track is around 117 Km in length, for the moment only 66 Km is ready to be used. The next phase would be to integrate this new railway line to the massive Indian railway network. Its usefulness will be multiplied in this way.

Route Of The Train Service

Route Of The Train Service

The new trains on this route which would comprise of 2 AC trains having large windows to let people enjoy the picturesque views of Kashmir would be run with additional security at all times. A separate wing of the railway police has been set for this purpose.

The main beneficiaries of this service would be the people living in remote villages of Kashmir that are now connected by this line. Those who previously faced long journeys to reach larger towns and cities will be able to travel much faster now. Many people in this part of the valley travel long distances everyday for work and education. This service will come as a true blessing for them.

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