This is significant progress for Jammu and Kashmir. Four superfast intra-Kashmir trains were flagged off in the Valley on Thursday, a move that will significantly reduce travel time between major towns and the summer capital, Srinagar.
In a report by The Hindu, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who flagged off the trains at the Anantnag railway station in south Kashmir, said: “It’s the beginning of many more good initiatives to be taken by the Centre in the State. As India makes giant strides on the development front, we hope J&K will get its fair share in the country’s rise.” Ms. Mufti said lack of connectivity was the biggest determinant of development.
“I am looking forward to the completion of 111-km-long Katra-Banihal Railway Line, which will provide an all-weather link to the Valley,” said Ms. Mufti. The State government is taking up with the Centre introduction of a new train service — Valley on Wheels — on the pattern of Palace on Wheels, which has given a huge fillip to tourism in Rajasthan. “Special tourist trains to the Valley from Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Kolkata will increase tourists to the State,” said Ms. Mufti.
Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu, through video conferencing, was also part of the flagging off of four new Diesel Engine Mobile Unit passenger trains between Banihal-Baramulla and Baramulla-Budgam, which will run six days a week.
India Today says, the limited stop DEMU trains are likely to bring about smiles on plenty of faces as travelling between places will become easier for the local residents of the state. Besides, it opens up an opportunity for travellers to explore the state in a way they have never done before.