141 diesel-electric trains ‘out of service’

Pakistan Railways official stresses need for 22,000 more workers

​ Our Correspondent April 19, 2020
PR official stresses need for 22,000 more workers. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: As many as 141 out of a total 474 diesel-electric locomotives owned by Pakistan Railways are not in working condition and creating difficulties in smooth train operations across the country.

“The proposal for the rehabilitation of these over-aged/damaged locomotives is under process through public-private partnership on a build-operate-transfer basis,” a railways ministry official told APP.

He said the department’s locomotives were being repaired in the country at the workshops – namely Central Diesel Locomotive Workshop Rawalpindi, Locomotive Workshop Mughalpura, Diesel Shop Karachi Cantonment and Pakistan Locomotive Factory Risalpur.

Regarding recruitment in the Ministry of Railways, he said the department had filled 31 vacant posts from BS-1 to BS-17 since September 2018. He said the ministry had advertised 10,183 vacancies over the whole system comprising seven operating divisions – including Karachi, Sukkur, Quetta, Multan, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and workshop division.

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The official said the recruitment process was in progress, however, it was suspended by the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi Bench and the Balochistan High Court. “Around 3,271 employees are currently working on contract basis in different scales in Pakistan Railways in different categories including the Prime Minister’s Assistance Package and invalidation policy,” he added.

The official said that 2,655 employees were working in the department under the PM package, 304 under invalidation policy and 312 working under contract basis. He said the recruitment of contract employees and of PM’s Assistance Package fall under the invalidation policy. The policy was introduced during the year 2000 and 2005 respectively and the same was made without advertisement.

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However, he said that other contract appointments were made through advertisements in the newspapers as per policy. The official said that all formalities and policies were observed for the recruitment of the said employees circulated by the Establishment Division from time to time.

The official said that Pakistan Railways was understaffed, it needs around 22,000 more workers. The sanctioned strength of employees was 95,729. But the department has 73,137 staffers on its payroll. APP