Srinagar: A fortnightly train service for children would chug on December 11 between Banihal and Baramulla and arrangements to this effect were finalised here today in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti.
The meeting deliberated on the logistic arrangements and other issues for running of the train service. Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar was also present in the meeting.
It may be recalled that the decision to start a fortnightly train service exclusively for children was taken in a meeting the Chief Minister had with Minister for Railways, Suresh Prabhu at New Delhi last week wherein she had requested for starting such a train service in view of the limited outing facilities available to kids in the Valley.
Today’s meeting was informed that the said train would take off from Banihal every alternate Sunday from December 11 at 8.15 am and reach Baramulla at 10.40 am from where it would return back at 10.50 am to reach Banihal back at 01.35 pm.
The train would again move from Banihal at 02.10 pm and reach Baramulla at 05.05 pm to finally return back at 05.15 pm for the day, the meeting was informed.
The meeting decided to nominate nodal officers from Education Department in every district besides a Nodal Officer from the Directorate of Education to maintain close liaison with Railway authorities.
The Chief Minister impressed upon the Education Department and Railway authorities to coordinate with each other to further fine-tune the arrangements for the proposed ride.
Mehbooba Mufti said the children of the Valley have generally limited facilities of outing available and such a facility would give them an opportunity to know their province and State much closely and mingle with children of other areas and districts.
Starting from Banihal, the train would have stops at Qazigund, Anantnag, Awantipora, Srinagar, Budgam and Sopore before reaching Baramulla. In the first instance, students from Government run schools would be taken on the train ride but subsequently the facility would be thrown open to children of private schools as well.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, IGP, Kashmir Zone, SJM Gillani, senior officers of Northern Railways and Railway Protection Force, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Dr. Farooq Ahmad Lone, SSP, Srinagar, Amit Kumar and other senior officers were present in the meeting.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister was informed by the Railway authorities that so far half of the railway services have been resumed on the Banihal-Baramulla track and the other half would also be resumed soon. (KNS)
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