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J-K: Special train for children from Dec 11

Srinagar: A fortnightly special train service for children would be started in Kashmir from December 11 between Banihal and Baramulla stations as Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti reviewed arrangements at a meeting here.

The meeting deliberated on logistic arrangements and other issues for running the train service, an official spokesman said today.

Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar was also present in the meeting.

The decision to start a fortnightly train services exclusively for children was taken in a meeting between the Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu and the Chief Minister at New Delhi last week.

In the meeting she had requested for such a train service in view of the limited outing facilities available to kids in the Valley.

Mufti was informed the children’s train would depart Banihal every alternate Sunday starting December 11 at 8.15 am and reach Baramulla at 10.40 am from where it would return at 10.50 am to reach Banihal 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 at 05.15 pm for the day.

It was decided to nominate nodal officers from the Education Department of every district. Besides a nodal officer from the Directorate of Education to maintain close liaison with Railway authorities.

The Chief Minister asked the Education Department and railway authorities to coordinate with each other to further fine-tune arrangements for the proposed ride.

Mehbooba said the children of the Valley have generally limited facilities of outing available and this facility would give them an opportunity to know their province and state, and mingle with children of other areas.

The train will have halts at Qazigund, Anantnag, Awantipora, Srinagar, Budgam and Sopore before reaching Baramulla.

Initially, students from government-run schools will be taken on the train ride but later it will be opened to children of private schools.