PR minister apologises to nation over inconvenience

PR minister apologises to nation over inconvenience

LAHORE: Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad apologized to the nation over inconvenience caused by derailment of a freight train near Rahim Yar Khan on April 02 which disturbed the trains schedule.

Addressing a press conference at the PR headquarters here, he hoped the nation would accept his apology.

The minister said that he had dissolved the investigation committee of the incident and a new committee would investigate under the supervision of PR Chairman Sikandar Sultan Raja.

He said that despite the disturbed schedule, passenger occupancy in the trains had not been reduced and trains were running with over 80 per cent occupancy.

He said that there was no shortage of coaches in the railways and 200 more upgraded passenger coaches would be inducted in the system within the one month, adding the railway workers were speedily working on it.

Sh Rashid informed that the railways had successfully win the transportation of oil of the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and a great revenue was expected from this sector.

He said that an Air-Conditioned coach would be attached with Rehman Baba Express train, runs between Karachi and Peshawar, to facilitate the passengers.

He also announced reduction in fare for children for Jinnah Express and now new fare would be Rs 3000 for one child.

Discussing the Main Line-1 upgradation project under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he hoped the agreement would be signed between Pakistan and China during Prime Minister Imran khan’s visit to China on April 27.

He said the agreement would prove to be a revolution in the Pakistan Railways.

“We spent billions of rupees on roads but not a single penny was spent on railway track during the previous governments,”  he added.

He thanked the nation for showing its trust in the railways.

About Royal Palm case, he said the Supreme Court had promised that it would give verdict on April 11, whatever the decision would be.

Sh Rashid said that Royal Palm administration had not deposited any amount to the railways since 2013 and running the hotel, cinema and marriage halls without paying any tax even.

He said that tracking system would be installed in track machinery as well as in the locomotives for better monitoring of these machines.

He warned the officers to work delicately, otherwise, they would not be tolerated.

To a question, he said that about 11 locomotives were standby even right now so the perception was wrong that the railways rolling stock had been finished.

He said that the railways was planning to operate a new Saloon train for rich people to generate more revenue.

He alleged that previous rulers purchased machinery in billion of rupees but it got failed during trial.

He claimed that railways had saved about 1.5 million fuel during the last six months.

To a question, he said that Sharif family posed themselves as brave, adding that they should face the courts and institutions, if they were brave and presented themselves for accountability of looted money.

“They are trying to protect looted money and want NRO,” he said and added that London was their weakness.