Friday, July 31, 2015

FOR RESIDENTS OF J&K , PATHANKOTE WAS THE NEAREST RAIL LINK TO THE COUNTRY


                                                                        
                                                                                   
MUKERIAN (Punjab) 1952
(Photo courtesy: Photo Division, Government of India)

The partition of the country deprived the resident of the state from a direct Railway link with the country as Sialkot fell to Pakistan . This being so , the Jammu Railway station across Tawi Bridge ( Near present Day kala Kendra and previously J&K SRTC transport Yard ) turned useless. The remains of the station could be seen at least in early seventies of the last century . The old Jammu -Sialkot railway track , passing through MIran sahib and R S Pura towns , could be seen for many years till 1970.  Even upto 1988,  some portion of this track could  be seen  near  Miran sahib  or R S Pura . After 1947, the nearest Train Link for the residents of the state was  from Mukerian  in Punjab .

It was only in 1952 ( 07-04-1952 ) that a Railway link was extended upto Pathankote . This 27 Mile Railway link was formally inaugurated by Shri N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar, the then Minister for Railways and Transport, Government of India. This shortest railway line brought Kashmir valley nearer to India and Pathankote became the busiest Railway station due to Passengers from J&K state .Buses from Srinagar would ply directly upto Pathankote  and carry and drop them near the railway station.This station lost  its importance once the track was extended upto Jammu and another station was set up nearby known presently as Chakki Bank . Almost all  Delhi Bound trains starting from Jammu , currently  pass through Chakki Bank station bypassing the old Pathankote Railway station.


In this photograph , we can see Shri N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar formally declaring the railway line open by switching on an electrical device which operated the ‘line-clear’ signal for the special train (seen in the background). Seated to the Ministers’ right is Shri F.C. Bhadwar, Chairman of the Railway Board. Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the then Prime Minister of J&K state is at extreme left.
( Autar Mota )



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