Editorial: Need for better management
Srinagar: As if the road mishaps were not enough to leave scores of people killed in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Inter district train service that runs from Banihal in South Kashmir to Baramulla in North Kashmir is also proving to be a costly affair for the people as the killings due to train mishaps is increasing with every passing day.
Kashmir Valley which witnesses almost 300 odd killings during road mishaps every year is now witnessing an increased number of deaths in train mishaps on the Banihal-Baramulla stretch.
Even today the train service has been partially suspended as a precautionary measure after two minors were crushed to death at Puchal area of Pulwama district on Sunday.
The death of two minors is once again a grim reminder to the already poor railway management system that plagues the train service in Kashmir.
Trains are perhaps the most reliable form of transport in today’s world. They are not only cheap but are also very convenient for long distances. Despite the fact that trains are relatively new to Kashmir, they have become the most used form of transport.
Everyday hundreds of commuters board the trains to reach their destinations. Some people even consider them to be a blessing given the increasing frequency in the number of traffic jams. However, this efficient system of transportation too has some disadvantages.
One, given the heavy rush of passengers and in absence of any crowd management, overcrowding in the trains has become a nightmare for the daily commuters.
Two, the lack of passenger facilities, like washrooms, enough ticket counters and other related services are also causing inconveniences to the public.
And now to cap it all, the train mishaps are leaving dozens killed and maimed on annual basis and the authorities have so far been unable to come up with a better management system so that these happenings are prevented and causalities are reduced.
Although railway services in Kashmir can claim some progress during the last few years, this system is still plagued by a number of problems that require immediate attention. The trains are almost always overcrowded. There is no one for crowd control or proper management of passengers. The train floors and even the seats are in a pathetic state.
The lack of basic amenities at the railway stations is causing a huge inconvenience to the passengers. Most of the railway stations as well as trains are very poorly maintained. There is overcrowding and pushing in the coaches that prove that the railways need a better management system to make the entire setup run.
However, a major component in improving the management of railways should be enhancing the security and upkeep of the track. Most of the mishaps that have been reported are due to the poor management of railway crossing and lack of adequate security along the tracks which are directly affecting the public, especially the children who like to play or roam along the railway lines.