ISLAMABAD - Minister for Railways Senator Azam Khan Swati Thursday said efforts were underway to run small trains inside Quetta to facilitate common man.

Briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Railways, he said Pakistan Railways was going to run trains for Quetta through outsourcing in which all railway operations except track and operation would be outsourced.

During the meeting, the Senate Standing Committee on Railways reviewed the report on railway accidents occurred after June 2021, their nature, causes and steps taken by the Railways to avoid such accidents in the future and sought the inquiry report of Ghotki train accident on June 7, 2021 to Pakistan Railways. The committee also reviewed the report on implementation of recommendations of previous committee meetings on June 21 and August 12, 2021.

The Secretary Railways informed the committee that the Bolan Express would start from December 1 this year.  He said that 90 percent work had been completed in Harnai and Sibi sectors. The Quetta to Chaman train was also running weekly and would also start Zahedan train from Quetta, whereas Akbar Bugti Express was suspended for 3 months. 

The secretary  informed the committee that two new trains would be operational for Quetta after the arrival of new coaches. In the committee meeting, the Secretary Railways said that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project would be completed in a period of 8 and half years. Senator Naseebullah Baazi said that in 1998 Pakistan Railways used to run a night train from Quetta to Karachi which was now closed. As per the directions of the committee, the steps  taken for the rehabilitation of Khanpur track from Sukkur, the Secretary Railways said that PC-1 of the 30 billion worth project had been approved and work on it would start soon. Regarding the steps taken to lay the railway track from Peshawar to Uzbekistan as per the instructions of the committee, the secretary said that the survey of this project was pending but this project was one of our top priorities. It was informed in the committee meeting that since June 7, 2021, there had been 39 railway accidents.

EVMs is great achievement of 

federal government

Governor Balochistan, Syed Zahoor Ahmed Agha on Thursday said that it was a great achievement of the PTI government to introduce Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and to make it possible for other Pakistanis to vote through I-voting system. 

He was addressing a function organized by Balochistan Rural Support Program at Governor House Quetta regarding distribution of relief goods and bicycles and motorbikes to the Harnai earthquake victims. 

On the occasion, Provincial Minister for Finance Noor Muhammad Dummar, Provincial Minister for Education Mir Naseebullah Marree, Federal Secretary Pass Division Muhammad Ali Shehzada, PPAF Chief Nadir Gul Bareach, PDMA Chief Naseer Ahmed Nasir, Benazir Income Support Program’s Director General Abdul Jabbar. BRSP’s head Dr. Shanawaz, former Senator Roshan Khurshid Brocha, scholars and media persons from various walks of life attended the ceremony.

Addressing the participants of the function, the Governor of Balochistan said that the service of the deprived people living below the poverty line was the cause of satisfaction.

“I am proud to participate in relief and welfare activities,” he noted adding  that when the head of the institution was active, the activity in the whole team is maintained. 

He urged all dignitaries to play their due role in serving the deprived and oppressed people. Provincial Minister Noor Muhammad Dummar, Federal Secretary Muhammad Ali Shehzada, Roshan Khurshid, Brocha Nadir Gul Barich, Maulana Anwar-ul-Haq Haqqani, Dr Shahnawaz and Dr Sajjad Bukhari also addressed the participants.