ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said those Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers who did not support the party in rejecting an anti-Nawaz Sharif bill in the National Assembly should face strict disciplinary action.
While addressing journalists at Pakistan Press Information Department (PID) on Wednesday, he said that Pakistan Railways (PR) have not received bailout packages for the last four years.
“Transport of coal and oil are main sources of revenue generation for Pakistan railways. The entity has five companies of which four were established in previous governments while one was established in his tenure and currently no company was making loss,” he said.
He said upgrade of the existing ML-1 from Peshawar to Karachi and establishment of dry port at Havelian are Early Harvest Projects (EHP) under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The joint feasibility study of ML-1 has been completed and the work is expected to begin by the end of this year.
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The first phase (ML-1), Rafique said, will connect Karachi-Rohri-Khanewal-Lahore-Rawalpindi-Peshawar while the second phase (ML-2) will connect Kotri-Dadu-Jacobabad-DG Khan-Attock-Peshawar and the third phase (ML-3) will link Jacobabad-Sukkur-Sibi-Quetta-Dalbandin-Taftan.
“We will make all efforts to revitalise Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) and will not create hurdles in its revival,” Rafique said, adding that in 2016-17 Pakistan Railways earned revenue of Rs40.07 billion as compared to Rs18 billion in 2012-13, and the real impact of the major initiatives will show in 2017-18.
He said all these achievements were made by adopting better marketing tactics, reducing fair packages, public-private partnership, adjusting freight passenger ratio, fair bidding process in public-private partnership. He said Shalimar Express alone bagged Rs1.14 billion.
He said that 1,137 passenger coaches had been renovated and refurbished to ensure comfortable journey besides improving punctuality, provision of on-board standard meals, clean compartments and upgrade of more than 300 economy coaches to AC standard.
He said initiation of Green Line was a success story. Other services that helped generate revenue included introduction of e-ticketing, mobile app, upgrade of website, on-board wi-fi and communication services.
He said that a total of 31 stations were upgraded at a cost of Rs2,377 million of which 11 were in Punjab, 10 in Sindh, four in K-P and five in Balochistan.
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