JAMMU: A large number of passengers, especially pilgrims, were left stranded here as several trains and buses passing through Haryana were cancelled due to the quota agitation by Jats.
Several trains from Jammu were cancelled due to the protest by the community seeking reservation under OBC category in Haryana, causing inconvenience to passengers, especially those who had come on pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi cave shrine.
"A large number of passengers, especially Mata Vaishno Devi Pilgrims, have been left stranded as keeping in view of their safety we have suspended the interstate bus service that pass through Haryana. No Delhi bound bus is leaving the state for now", an official of the Jammu and Kashmir state road transport corporation said (SRTC).
Not only the government run SRTC has suspended the bus service, but all the private bus service operators in Jammu too have decided not to ply their vehicles until the Jat agitation comes to an end. "We will only restart our bus services after the Jat agitation in Haryana comes to an end", Manoj Kumar a tour operator in Jammu said.
With the cancellation of almost all the trains to and from Jammu, over 40,000 passengers have been affected. "All the trains that pass through Haryana have been cancelled, which has directly affected over 40,000 passengers who have been left stranded in Jammu. All the trains that pass through Saharanpur are plying normally", a railway official said. Inflow of the pilgrims to the cave shrine has also reduced.
"The number of pilgrims coming to the cave shrine has also fallen after the train and bus services were cancelled", an official of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board said.
"Because of the cancellation of our train we have been left stranded in Jammu and cannot even take a bus as all the bus services too have been suspended. The air tickets are mostly booked or beyond our reach", Pawan Nanda a pilgrim from New Delhi said.