ISLAMABAD: Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafique on Friday said that 58 new locomotives would be procured from China within next six months and the same would be mainly used for freight operations of the Railways.
The minister told the National Assembly during the Question Hour that various steps were being taken to make Pakistan Railways a profitable department. He said freight train operations will gradually be increased which would play a pivotal role in restoring the prestige of Railways.
The minister said that by the end of this year, at least six freight trains would be made operational which would help generate revenue of 20 to 25 million rupees per day. Saad said that at present, three freight trains were being operated upon on daily basis which has resulted in increase of revenue by ten million rupees.
Referring to the passenger trains, the minister said a fair structure has been re-adjusted to facilitate and attract more passengers to avail the facility of train services. This, he said, would help increase revenue generation by seven to ten percent.
Saad Rafique said that there was no proposal under consideration to privatize Pakistan Railways, adding that public-private partnership would be sought for launching joint ventures to provide better traveling facilities to the commuters.
He said Pakistan Railways was in the process to procure 208 new locomotives besides rehabilitation of dysfunctional locomotives.
The minister said that the entire fleet of locomotives has lived its age and the older locomotives need to be replaced with new ones as soon as possible.
Responding to a question, the minister said that all out efforts were being made to ensure timely arrival and departure of trains. The minister assured that construction of dual track from Lodhran to Lahore would be completed by March next year.
Saad Rafique said that special teams have been formed to conduct surprise raids to improve vigilance system and a plan is under discussion to revive and built capacity of railways workshops.