Former Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafique expressed his dismay in a national assembly committee meeting over the current Railways management allegedly providing wrong facts and figures.
A meeting of National Assembly members pertaining to current regime of Pakistan Railways performance evaluation was held under Pakistan Muslim League (N) member Moin Watoo.
The former Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad opined that the trains have started slacking off in terms of punctuality, “trains are lagging behind on timely arrivals and departures,” said Rafique.
“Railway officials have shown losses worth 16 crore for 10 trains,” revealed Rafique.
“In another document the officials have shown a profit worth Rs.97 million,” Rafique added.
Talking about the Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rashid’s announcement of creating 10,000 new jobs in the sector the former minister said that this initiative will spell doom for the Railways.
“Railways has recorded losses worth Rs.29 billion,” claimed Rafique.
He also questioned the increase in ticket prices whilst suggesting that the Railways should only look to hire technical staff.
Deputy secretary Railways also briefed the parliamentarians on new jobs being created in the institute.
“We are not hiring anyone for the time being,” confessed the deputy secretary.
Saad Rafique further suggested that hiring contractual employees rather than full-time staffers will be more financial for the state owned company.
The Ministry of Railways are looking to hire 3687 gang men along with 248 gate keepers and 133 trolley men, the assembly members were told in the briefing, the ministry also plans to turn 7000 temporary employees to the status of permanent.
National Assembly member Amjad Ali Khan alleged that people were being hired by the Ministry after taking heavy bribes.
“Rs.2.5 million are being taken from individuals to hire them as gang men,” alleged Amjad.
Officials of the Railways on the allegations told the committee that they have been notified of such nefarious activities.
The committee demanded a report on expected hiring’s to be undertaken by the Ministry.
Railway officials further detailed that incidents of train’s getting derailed have increased especially in Sindh’s, Sukkur Railway division.
The officials blamed dilapidated train tracks for the incidents.
The briefing further entailed up-gradation of the tracks on Karachi to Peshawar route along with that of Taxila to Havelian as part of the ‘ML-ONE’ project.
“The initial designs for the ML-ONE project have been finalized,” revealed the railway officials.
I.G Railway Police, Wajid Zia shared his suggestions, advices regarding the operations against illegal plotting and construction on land belonging to the Railways.
“We take action against these miscreants after filing cases against them, law enforcers are ever present in tain carriages at all times,” said the Inspector General.
Ridding the land that comes under the Railways of illegal construction falls under the jurisdiction of Railways’ land department, said Zia.
Saad Rafique expressed disappointment over illegal construction on the site of Karachi’s circular Railway project.
“Two sorts of groups are involved in land grabbing of KCR’s land, 4600 of those illegally living on the land are ‘registered’, Chief Minister Sindh had agreed to relocate all of the inhabitants, I would urge the government to pay the inhabitants rather than relocating them,” suggested Rafique.