New Delhi: The Indian Railways looked forward to the involvement of the local population of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in order to improve the functioning of the railways in the valley, railway minister Suresh Prabhu discussed with the chief minister of J&K, Mehbooba Mufti, in a meeting held on Saturday.

Also, it was proposed in the meeting that a special train made exclusively for children would run every 15 days in the valley. In addition, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) special trains are also proposed to be launched soon in order to promote tourism in the valley.

Railways also plans to commission glass to coaches for the valley at the earliest along with new halt stations at Ratnipora and Sadura. The seasonal tourism packages starting with the winter package would be enhanced in order to attract tourists to famous places in the valley like Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Katra among others. Further, a winter special train would run from Jammu to places like Howrah, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

To invite participation from the local populace of the valley, the railways would organize a vendor development camp to showcase items required by the railways which can then be supplied by the local vendors. In addition, another camp would be organized in the valley to invite the local artisans to showcase their merchandise which can be used by the railways.

IRCTC would boost the sale of local handicrafts of J&K along with popularizing the local Kashmiri cuisine through the catering units of the Indian Railways.

The leaders also discussed in length about the restoration of all the train services in the valley at the earliest which has been disrupted and suspended over the last four months due to the ongoing unrest in the valley. The rail service connecting the north and south parts of the Kashmir had resumed partially last week.

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