Rehman Baba train to be launched to facilitate poor

  • Junejo says all trains must be tracked while handing over mobile phone to drivers

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Wednesday said that the Pakistan Railways was planning to launch new train named as the Rehman Baba only for the low-income people of the country.

He said this during a meeting of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Railways, which met under the chairmanship of Senator Muhammad Asad Ali Khan Junejo and was attended by senators Gianchand, Saadia Abbasi, Imamuddin Shouqeen, Pakistan Railways Chief Executive Officer Aftab Akbar and other senior officials of the ministry.

Sheikh Rashid said that the feasibility of the new train was under process and it would be only economy class that would meet the need of the poor people. Regarding the Main Line-1 and Main Line-II, he said that the Ministry of Railways was going to take important decisions about these lines in coming 30-60 days.

“We are going to bring the track between Sukkar and Karachi as per the expectations of the people as we did not pay attention on tracks across the country,” he said, adding that freight trains play vital role in any railways and now the Pakistan Railways was operating only eight to 10 freight trains from Karachi. He said that the department was making efforts to increase these trains from 12 to 13.

The minister said that the Pakistan Railways was inviting private partners to run the freight trains after completing 90 days, any private parties can run these trains on the public-private partnership that would increase the revenue for the organisation. He said that it was the vision of the present government to provide WiFi and tracking system facility to the passengers within 100 days and the Pakistan Railways would also provide these facilities in the freight trains.

He said that the Pakistan Railways was offering 25 per cent discount on the tickets for disabled persons in the passenger trains. Asad Junejo suggested that the Pakistan Railways can provide the mobile phone to the train drivers with software so that all the trains should be tracked. He said that if a taxi on road can be tracked that where it was reached then why a train was not tracked.

The minister assured the committee that the Pakistan Railways would make all-out efforts to install a tracking system in all trains shortly. Railways Advisory and Consultancy Services Managing Director Zubair Ghouri briefed the committee about the working and projects of the services. As many as 400 employees were working with PRACS and it was providing consultancy and advisory services to the railways, he said.