Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch inaugurated the Quetta-Zahedan goods train on Monday and expressed optimism that it would prove lucrative for the business community of the province doing business with Iran.
The inauguration ceremony took place at Quetta Railway Station where Dr. Baloch cut the inauguration ribbon. Provincial Information Minister Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal, Advisor to CM on Education Sardar Raza Muhammad Barrech and Divisional Superintendent Railway Quetta Faiz Muhammad Bugti were also present
“The revival of goods train would be lucrative for the business community of Balochistan and it would increase resources to enhance business with Iran,” Baloch said.
Applauding the Federal Minister for Railways Khuwaja Saad Rafique, CM Balochistan said that in recent history the Railway department had nearly collapsed. However Saad Rafique and his team were taking all measures to revive Railways, “I request him to make Quetta-Zahedan track the fastest one of the country and run more passenger trains from Quetta,” he said.
Dr. Baloch urged the federal government to take immediate measures to start the Sibi-Harnai train section. “Following the proposal of Provincial Government Pakistan Railways should expand the Quetta-Zahedan track from 40km to 150km speed per hour,” the CM added.
Addressing the ceremony Parveen Agha, Chairperson of Pakistan Railway, said that resuming the goods train from Quetta division is a good sign for Balochistan.
“One train in a week will depart for Iran and if the business community and traders required then the service between Quetta-Zahedan could increase, she added.
She announced hardship allowances for Railway employees working in the Quetta-Zahedan section. “The allowance would bolster morale and would be helpful for the employees working in the section,” she added.
Divisional Superintendent (DS) Railway Quetta division Faiz Ahmed Bugti mentioned that tracks between Quetta-Zahedan section had been closed for 5 years now.
“After negotiation with Federal Minister for Railways, we had decided to resume the goods train from Quetta and provide better trading opportunities for business community,” Faiza Bugti added.
He said the train will take 32 hours to reach Zahedan and a special concession will be given to local traders.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2015.