Sorry state of affairs of railways

Employees in Grades 1 to 19 face delays and irregularities in salary payments

Dua Abbas January 20, 2024
photo: file


The administrative affairs of Pakistan Railways Karachi Division have suffered neglect, leading to a cascade of issues affecting the lives and well-being of railway employees. Over the past year, employees and officers in Grades 1 to 19 have experienced delays and irregularities in salary payments, further exacerbated by a lack of safety kits, posing a serious threat to their lives.

For the past 12 months, Pakistan Railways has been plagued by irregularities in the payment of salaries to employees and officers of Karachi Division. This has had a significant impact on essential sections such as the loco shed and gigman, leading to operational disruptions.

A severe shortage of manpower within the Railways has created operational challenges. Despite the absence of recruitment for several years, efforts are being made to sustain operations in various departments within Karachi Division. The relentless pressure of work and responsibilities, coupled with the ongoing non-payment of dues, has prompted employees to protest.

Muhammad Junaid Awan, Central Vice President and General Secretary of the Karachi Division Railway Workers Union, disclosed that salaries were previously disbursed by the Karachi Division cashier, but for the past year, payments have been delayed by one month. This delay has particularly impacted the economically vulnerable class.

ReadRailways chugs ahead with Rs41b earnings

Despite numerous pleas from Logo Shed employees and DS Karachi, Nasir Khalili, to the headquarters in Lahore, the issues persist without acknowledgment. Moreover, employees in roles such as electric power at railway stations and electric train lightning lack essential safety kits. Recently, a tragic incident at City Station resulted in the death of a train lightning employee due to electrocution, sparking unrest among employees.

Contrary to these challenges, a press release from Pakistan Railways Headquarters in Lahore on January 1 announced that the organisation had achieved a historic milestone, surpassing Rs40 billion in revenue within six months.

However, Muhammad Junaid Awan lamented that despite Karachi contributing 68 per cent to the Railways earnings, Karachi Division receives a mere 10 per cent in the budget. He warns that if employee concerns continue to be ignored, the problems will escalate, jeopardising both the workforce and the Railways operational efficiency.

In light of these pressing issues, it is imperative for Pakistan Railways to address the administrative neglect, ensure timely salary payments, and prioritise the safety and well-being of its dedicated workforce to maintain a robust and efficient railway system.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2024.


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