The railway authorities have appealed for maintaining forbearance as vandalism is counterproductive activity as mindless vandalism by public causes damaged to sophisticated and costly railway installations and property worth crores of rupees besides hampering rail services in the Kashmir Valley.
Giving this information, Neeraj Sharma, Chief Public Relations Officer said, on 20th July, local crowds indulged in stone pelting and extensive vandalism on the trains resulting in breakage of window panes, breakage of/damage to back rest of seats and tearing off of seat covers. Reports have also been received of damage to expensive CCTV equipment/junction boxes in the Peer Panjal Tunnel.
He further stated that local youth resorted to roof-top travel even when there was sufficient accommodation available in the running coaches. This forced the train running staff (Crew and Guards) to run the trains accompanied with security forces even with the roof riders. Nevertheless, all railway staff performed their duties with great courage even in these dire circumstances.
As many as 17 trains out of 26 lost punctuality on account of the above mischievous activities. Heavy damage, which could run into crores of rupees, has occurred and will take a long time to repair, he added.
Neeraj Sharma said, Northern Railway appeals to the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir to discourage and prevent anti-social elements indulging in mindless vandalism as it is counterproductive benefiting no one. Besides, with train operations affected, the general public is put to great inconvenience causing a chain of detrimental conditions. Roof riding, which puts lives aqt risk and causes delay in train services, is a punishable offence and should be avoided.