Jammu-Udhampur Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) train service in India has been suspended since December 24, and daily commuters are peeved, and there is little relief in sight.
According to the railway authorities, the DMU service between Jammu and Udhampur, train number 7406/74907, shall remain suspended until March 5, 2019.
To add insult to injury, no reason has been given for the suspension of service. The service has been cut back in stages, first to only weekdays, then to only once a day instead of 6, and now with a complete 2-month suspension.
The DMU train services which began in 2005 are the most popular mode of traveling between Jammu and Udhampur for travelers and regular commuters, many of those commuters being government and private employees. It connects Kashmir Valley to the rest of India.
Irate commuters are threatening a “rail roko” with strong protests at Jammu Railway Station until services are resumed or a tolerable alternative is provided. A roko is a common protest in India during which a large number of people block the path of vehicular traffic – in this case the railway.
It is speculated that the train may be used for facilitating Kumbh Mela pilgrims in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, from January 15 to March 5, 2019. The Kumbh Mela is the world’s largest religious festival and is held every 3 years in one of 4 cities along India’s sacred rivers.