Pakistan Railways suffered losses worth Rs26 billion during fiscal year 2011 mainly due to lack of track maintenance and locomotives in disrepair, said a railways ministry official on Monday.
He said that Railways is yet to receive the Rs11.6 billion bailout package approved by the federal cabinet, and added that it needed funds to purchase new locomotives and repair the old ones besides improving infrastructure.
“The ministry has taken numerous steps for the rehabilitation and development of Railways. However, these are subject to provision of funds from international and national financial institutions,” he said.
“The rehabilitation of the existing track linking Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar is under way with the help of Asian Development Bank and work will start during the current fiscal year,” he said. Procurement of 150 new diesel locomotives is also under way at a cost of Rs55.4 billion, he added.
He also said that a contract agreement for the manufacturing and procurement of 75 new diesel locomotives costing $105 million was signed with Fong Fang Company of China. Currently, the matter is subject of a judicial review.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2011.