Parts of railway and bus services are set to resume in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time since August 5 when its special status was withdrawn and the erstwhile state was bifurcated into two Union Territories.
Mini buses began plying on some routes in the city on Monday while railways conducted two successful trial runs on the Srinagar-Baramulla stretch ahead of resumption of the train service on Tuesday, officials said.
The train service has been suspended since 5 August when the Centre decided to abrogate Article 370 that granted special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. A separate bill was moved by the government to bifurcate the state into two UTs -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
The Centre's decision led to an unannounced shutdown in the Valley even as authorities imposed severe restrictions which are being gradually eased out.
A railway official told PTI that railways conducted the trial run of the service for the first time in over three months since the shutdown in the valley.
“The train service on Srinagar-Baramulla stretch will resume tomorrow (Tuesday), while Srinagar-Banihal train service will resume in a few days after checking the track safety and conducting trial runs,” he said.
The railways conducted two successful trial runs on the stretch on Monday after conducting a thorough safety audit of the line.
Train services in the valley were suspended on the morning of 5 August – hours before the Centre made its announcement to abrogate Article 370.
Officials said that on Monday few mini-buses plied on Batwara-Batamaloo route through the city centre for the first time since 5 August.
Inter-district cabs and auto-rickshaws also plied in the city and elsewhere in the valley, they added.
Private transport was plying unhindered and several areas of the city witnessed traffic jams, the officials said.
The Traffic Department has deployed additional personnel on duty to regulate traffic flow.
Markets opened only for few hours in the morning and downed their shutters around noon, the officials said.
Pre-paid mobile phones and all Internet services continued to remain suspended since 5 August.
Most of the top-level and second-rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders including two former chief ministers -- Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti -- have been either detained or placed under house arrest.
The government has also detained former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah under the controversial Public Safety Act.
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