LAHORE: Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique on Sunday said the Pakistan Railways (PR) was expected Rs 6 billion more income in current fiscal year than the previous year due to proper planning, determination and hard-working.
Addressing the media at meet-the-press in PR Headquarters, he presented performance of the department of first ten months of the government and hoped the PR would be a profitable department after coal transport operation and Chinese investment.
Giving details, he said the PR had earned Rs 19.83 billion during first ten months of the incumbent government, which was Rs 5.27 billion more than the earning of previous year.
He said that administrative discipline, reduction in fare, restoration of freight trains, transparent selling of scrap and revenue collection from other government departments were some of the major actions, which had diverted the department towards success.
He said that after positive achievements, the department had decided to restore Shahsawar Express train from Lahore to Sialkot via Narang, Narowal and Pasrur which would earn Rs 60 million per year for the PR and it would facilitate 850 passengers daily. The minister said that Jund shuttle train from Attock to Jund was going to be operated which would facilitate 18,000 passengers every month, adding the running time of Tezgam Express train was being reduced to 25 hours and 45 minutes from 26 hours and 25 minutes.
He said Islamabad Railcar would now run from Lahore Cantt and it was going to plan to attach one business class coach with all four railcars to facilitate passengers.
The minister said all three racks of Tezgam had been changed with state of the art and more comfortable Chinese coaches, adding number of coaches in Bahuddin Zekria Express had been increased from 12 to 15 and about Rs 145 million additional earning was expected from the train. He said that shortage of coaches had remained 30 coaches in the system instead of 104 coaches.
Saad said that capacity of luggage vans had been increased from 10 to 15 tons and initially these new vans were working with Karachi Express.
He said the PR had arranged two spare racks in Karachi so that the delay in the trains could be overcome. The minister said the railways was planning to provide fresh dinner and breakfast to the passengers of Karachi Express train and the price would be inbuilt in the ticket, adding fresh food would be arranged at Sahiwal, Multan, Haiderabad and Karachi.
The Minister thanked the Punjab and Sindh government for their cooperation in removing unmanned level crossing and said the Punjab government had promised to allocate Rs 630 million while Sindh government had promised Rs 100 million in next budget for the purpose.
He said that two oil carrier trains were being set off for Laal Pir and Muzafarghar after successful dialogue with Pakistan state Oil and number of oil trains would be reached to five till August.
He said several agreements with Maple Leaf, NLC and NESPAK were under process which would be proved beneficial for the department.
To a question regarding Royal Palm, he said the PR had successfully taken up the case before apex Supreme Court and the decision would be accepted.
Commenting on default of the Business train administration, he said several kind of pressure was tried to put on me but, he added, that it was clear no pressure would be accepted and the PR would not spare a single penny.
PR Acting Chairman Parveen Agha, General Manager Anjum Pervaiz, Additional GM Traffic Javaid Anwar, PR IG Ibne Hussain and Additional IG Muneer Ahmad Chishti were also present.
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