Shopian residents protest, demand shifting of proposed railway line

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SHOPIAN — The residents of Reshipora and its adjacent areas in Zainapora hamlet of southern Kashmir’s Shopian district staged a protest yet again against the proposed railway line and reiterated their demand to shift the railway line.

The residents of the area told the news agency KNO that the government must either shift this proposed railway line or shouldn’t construct it as the project will render hundreds of families landless.

Mohammad Akbar, a senior citizen of the village, said that they have planted apple trees 3-4 decades ago and since then, they have been taking care of them by spending their money and time. He said that when these trees started bearing fruits, the government proposed a railway line that is going to render them landless.

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Locals said that they have brought this issue repeatedly to the notice of the administration and concerned authorities several times who assured that they will look into it. They said that despite assurances from the administration, the railway authorities have been marking their land, which is the source of livelihood for them.

Shakeel Ahmad, another local, said that most of the people in the village are dependent on their orchards for their livelihood and if this railway line is constructed, it will snatch their livelihood. He said they don’t need such projects that will snatch their livelihood and even many people will become homeless as well.

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Locals said that people will lose their orchards on which they are solely dependent, therefore the project, if executed, will push them towards starvation.

Even on Tuesday, some local youth had put shrouds on during protests while demanding the attention of higher authorities. The locals urged the higher-ups to look into the matter as soon as possible.

Earlier, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shopian assured that people will be taken into confidence before taking up this project.

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