Business Express to offer Wi-Fi service from tomorrow
LAHORE: The promised Wi-Fi Internet service will start in Business Express Train from Monday (tomorrow) as all arrangements have been completed in this regard following the administrationís deal with Pakistan Telecommunication Ltd (PTCL).
Pak Business Train Chief Operating Officer (COO) Ejaz Ahmad said Saturday the PTCL have reached an agreement and passengers would now enjoy smooth Wi-Fi service during their journey between Lahore and Karachi. He said connectivity is still a major problem and passengers may face it in some flung areas of Punjab and Sindh during the journey because no company was ready to offer uninterrupted Internet services inside the train. PTCL is offering us best Internet facilities and we prefer it over other companies, he added.
It is noteworthy that the private train operators had offered Internet facility inside the passenger coaches, for the first time in the country, since their launching last month but they had not fulfilled their promise.
To a query about controversy of outstanding dues between railways
and Four Brothers International, private operators of the train, Ahmad said that there were Rs 16 million arrears but the company was also claiming a hefty amount from the railways for mechanical parts being provided for the repair works of the passenger bogies and a meeting of both organisations may be held in mid-March to resolve the issue amicably.
He said more booking centres would be opened soon for the reservation facilities in Business Express and they were offering 4.0 percent commission for the interested parties including PRACS. The occupancy of the train was also steadily increasing and it was now touching 70 percent, Ahmad concluded.
It is noteworthy that under the deal between Pakistan Railways and the Four Brothers Group, the private operator is paying Rs 3.1 million on a daily basis to the railways. Following this experience railways successful privatise Shalimar Express also run between Lahore and Karachi to cater to the travelling requirements of the economy class.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Railways plan to privatise five more passenger trains, has failed so far, as no party has showed interest to participate in the bidding by submitting their proposals on the last date of receiving bids on Friday (March 2). The Pakistan Railways had offered bidding for five passenger trains including Fareed Express run between Lahore-Karachi, Shaheen Express between Sialkot-Karachi, Super Express between Malakwal-Karachi and two rail cars between Lahore-Faisalabad. The railways administration had fixed Friday, March 2 as last date for submission of bids. No party submitted their proposal on the last date.