LAHORE - Pakistan Railways will restore its freight train service to all dry-ports very soon as 30 locomotives are operational in connection with goods trains presently.
This was stated by Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique while talking to the media after receiving first container train at Mughalpura Dry-port in connection here on Saturday. He hoped that around 90 locomotives would handle the freight train operation till the end of next fiscal year.
He said Pakistan and Turkey had signed MoU for the restoration of ECO train from Islamabad to Istanbul via Tehran, adding Indian authorities were also being contacted for transportation of Indian freight to Turkey and Iran. The minister directed the PR authorities to spend half of the collected revenue from the Mughalpura Dry-port on its development.
The minister said people related to freight and container handling business would get employment. He said no passenger train would be restored until maintenance of balance between freight and passenger train operation as railways earned from freight and spent on passenger trains in the world.
The minister said deficit of the Railways would comparatively be reduced this year than the previous fiscal year.
He said automation was a solution of the matter and 250 pensioners had been shifted to automation, adding that the task of shifting pensioners on automation would be completed in two to three years. He said, unfortunately, the railways had been ignored in the past, adding that a balance of investment was needed between road and rail as the present government would try to ensure it.
Meanwhile addressing a ceremony of the Lahore Custom Agents Association at Mughalpura Dry-port the minister said there was no political interference in his department and he would not even tolerate any interference in work of the PR officers who were running the department purely on professional basis.
He has taken over the charge of the PR by keeping my political affiliation out of the office, he added. He said culture of the PR officers and workers had been changed now.
The minister said he believed in work and not a single approach would be entertained in the PR.
He directed the PR management to form a committee headed by AGM Traffic Javaid Anwar Boobak to make a formula for resolving issues of the dry-ports across the country.
The minister said there was no political interference in his department and he would not even tolerate any interference in work of the PR officers who were running the department purely on professional basis.