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Kashmir train service will fully resume as Covid cases dive | Latest India News

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Train services on the Kashmir Budgam-Baramulla railway section will be restored from Wednesday following a significant improvement in the Covid-19 situation in the valley, officials said. This will make operational the entire 137 km long Baramulla-Banihal section connecting northern and southern Kashmir.

Existing train services running between Budgam in central Kashmir in Banihal south and back are being extended for full direction to Baramulla in Kashmir in the north and vice versa, the railways said in a statement.

The Kashmir railway section is expected to be connected to the rest of the country. The independent part of Banihal, considered the gateway to Kashmir in the south, up to Baramulla in the north of Kashmir is 137 km long and is very popular among the locals. Train services were suspended from May 10 due to Covid-19 and partially resumed from July 1. The full resumption in rail service comes when the valley records mostly under 150 Covid cases per day, a major improvement from an altitude of 3,500 cases per day, recorded in May when the second wave had peaked.

Two trains currently starting from Banihal and ending in Budgam will be extended to Baramulla from Wednesday while another train will depart from Baramulla to Banihal at 8am.

The Railway Communication also said an additional train service will start at 3:10 pm from the north and take the former Budgamo route at 4:15.

Train services in the valley were also suspended for 11 months from 19 March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

In Kashmir, the railways worked better. In the summer 35,000 to 40,000 passengers used train services every day while dropping to 25,000 in the winter.

Train service in the valley has often been marred by political developments. In August 2019, the service was suspended for 100 days after the repeal of Article 370 of the Constitution. During the 2010 agitation, services were halted after coaches were injured. In 2016, after the assassination of Hezbollah commander Burhan Wani, services remained suspended for more than six months. It also remained closed for more than two months during the 2014 floods.

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