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Reforms Continue in Railways As Minister Announces New Trains

Islamabad (September 22, 2018): Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed on Saturday has announced to run three new trains on immediate basis for the improvement of the department.

Addressing a press conference, the minister informed that the railways had decided to operate three new trains from the next month, adding that a new train would be operated between Lahore and Faisalabad from October 1, while Mohnjodaro Express and Rohi Express trains would be operated from October 16.

Sheikh Rasheed said that in order to facilitate the passengers, the booking offices will remain open till 12am.

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Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid said  that 10,000 new employees would be recruited in the department on urgent basis and a summary had been sent to Prime Minister Imran Khan for approval in this regard.

He said that the railways was facing shortage of 23,000 employees, however 10,000 employees were needed urgently on merit.

To facilitate the passengers, the minister announced that all reservation offices across the country would remain opened till midnight at 12:00 and said that till December 30, reservation offices would remain opened round the clock.

Sheikh Rashid said that it had been decided to offer private partners to come forward and take over Golra Railway station to convert it in food street and picnic spot. He said that tenders for the provision of clean drinking water and other facilities would soon be opened.The minister said that Mainline-I and Mainline-II were important for the country from which ML-I had been kept under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) whereas the ML-II would be offered to the private investors for upgradation on BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) basis. He said that PR committee for investment opportunities would meet on every Thursday and the railways would welcome all investors.

He said that no improvement had been made in the freight sector and the number of freight trains were the same as it was twelve years ago. He vowed to increase the number of freight trains from 10 to 15 with in 120 days. The minister said that Karachi was being made fright headquarters for the railways as Karachi was hub of the business.

To a question, he said that response of new trains was very good and around average 600 passengers were travelling by newly introduced trains. Responding to a question, Sheikh Rashid said that he wanted to sell two to three railways plots in Lahore and Karachi to overcome deficit of the railways. He said that Rs 38 billion was the current deficit of the railways while the railways was under debt of Rs 25 billion.To another question about Nawaz Sharif, the minster said that Prime Minister Imran did not believe in any deal, however, the government respected the decisions of the courts. He alleged that the PML-N government was the most corrupt and dishonest government of the national history. He said that number of pensioners had been reduced from 137,000 to 119,000.

Earlier on September 02, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed announced a new train service for Mianwali.

The minister in a video statement said that Mianwali Express service will start from September 14, from Rawalpindi.

“The train will depart from 7am and will reach its destination in five hours. The train will depart for Rawalpindi at 2 pm,” he said.

The railway minister said that additional facilities will be given to the people by the department. Sheikh Rasheed also visited Tarnol railway station today to inspect basic facilities being given to the people.

Earlier on August 30,Railways minister Sheikh Rasheed had announced that passengers aged 75 and above would enjoy free travel service, whereas 50 percent discount for senior citizens above 65 years age.

While talking to journalist at Cant station Karachi Railways minister Karachi Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed revealed that he has advised to Prime Minister Imran Khan Country’s debt can be paid through the sale of railway land.He added that all hospitals of Pakistan Railways will be run through public private partnership.

He said the entire railways is being presented for the entrepreneurs to invest, adding that Railways officials had been given target of 100 per cent increase in the freight.Sheikh Rasheed urged the nation to give him time of three to four months for bringing improvements in the railways.

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