Islamabad (September 14, 2018): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday applauded the performance of Railways minister, Sheikh Rasheed, adding that railway tracks being given special importance in CPEC.
Addressing in a ceremony of Rawalpindi Express and Mianwali Rail Car in Islamabad on Friday afternoon, the Prime Minister said “We recovered land worth Rs100 billion from land mafia.”
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Prime Minister said that Pakistan Railways will be developed on modern lines with the cooperation of China to provide inexpensive travel facilities to the poor people.
The Prime Minister said rail tracks will be laid across the country to cover all the downtrodden areas.
The Prime Minister said the government has focused on uplifting standard of the common man.
He said Karachi to Peshawar railway track, which is called Main Line-1, is being laid under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He said China has the most advanced railway technology, and during his upcoming visit to China in November this year, cooperation in railway development will be sought.Imran Khan said the Railways’ land illegally occupied by mafias will be recovered. He, however, clarified that the poor who have settled at Railways’ land in makeshift arrangements will not be disturbed. He said the recovered land will be sold to repay Railway’s loans.
“We recovered land worth Rs100 billion from the land mafia,” the premier said while addressing the inauguration ceremony. He lamented that large areas have been illegally occupied.
The premier said, “We want to spend public money on people’s welfare.”
PM Imran also apprised the gathering about railway reforms. “The railway system currently in use is the same as that introduced by British rulers.”
“We can repay our loans by selling railway land in Karachi,” he added.According to a statement issued by the Pakistan Railways, the Mianwali Rail Car consists of nine passenger coaches. The manufacturing cost of the rail car was Rs8.5 million, the statement added.
Mianwali Rail Car will be operational from today. The train will depart from Kundian for Rawalpindi at 7am and depart from Rawalpindi for Kundian at 6pm daily, the statement said.
An online facility is available for passengers to book their seats.
Earlier on September 13, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed Pakistan Railways to submit a comprehensive plan for launching anti-encroachment drive and future utilization of railways land for generating revenues within fifteen days.He was chairing a briefing on Ministry of Railways in Islamabad.
Secretary Railways Muhammad Javed Anwar briefed the Prime Minister in detail about Pakistan Railways and various measures being taken to turn-around the organization into a sustainable and profitable venture.
He also apprised the Prime Minister about the issue of thousands of acres of encroached land of Pakistan Railways worth billions of rupees.
Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and other senior officials of the ministry were also present at the briefing.Earlier, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said that deficit of Pakistan Railways will be eliminated in one year.
Talking to the media persons in Rawalpindi, he pointed out that Railways is currently facing the annual deficit of forty to forty-two billion rupees.
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The Federal Minister said that the network of Pakistan Railways will also be expanded to the backward areas of the country in order to provide the people there with better travelling facilities.
Sheikh Rashid said that proposals will be submitted with the prime minister for bringing improvement in the railways. He said most of the trains of Railways require upgradation.
The Minister said we are pursuing the zero-tolerance policy against corruption. He assured the dwellers of Katchi abadis on the railway land will not be disturbed.
Will advise Prime Minister to release ordinance regarding evacuation of the Railways land, the minister added.