Sheikh Rashid—the Federal Minister has made an announcement that Gwadar is to be made the eighth new division of Pakistan Railways and the ministry would be offering extra benefits to the officials who would be working for the development of railways in the port city.
While addressing a press conference at the Railways Headquarters on Saturday, Sheikh Rasheed announced that a seven hundred-kilometre Quetta to Taftan railway track would soon be finished for improving relations with the neighbouring country—Iran.
The minister said that the Pakistan Railways is a backbone of CPEC projects and added that Gwadar would be a centre for economic activities. He also said that they would be increasing land for railways from the current 250 acres to 300 acres.
Sheikh Rasheed also stated that the ministry would not be encouraging single bidding in the upcoming projects of railways and would be supporting open competition in granting the tender.
The minister also indicated that he is willing to work with the National Logistics Cell and Frontier Works Organisation. He added that by working with these agencies the money would remain in the national economy.
The minister showed his determination by saying that he is committed to take the Pakistan railways out of deficit within just one year. He said for acquiring the goals they are focusing on the freight sector.
He also said that they are inking deals with many firms for using the railway’s infrastructure and would soon start a world-class courier and freight service too.
The Pakistan Railways is expected to inaugurate two passenger trains—Margalla and Mianwali express on the 14th of September. The trains would commute between Lahore-Rawalpindi and Rawalpindi-Mianwali junctions, simultaneously. He also informed that they would start running two more passenger trains in the coming months.
One train would be running between Mohenjo-daro, Sindh to Kotri and the other would be commuting between Peshawar and Karachi junctions.
Sheikh Rasheed hoped that the new trains would prove effective. He said that the train Pakistan Express which was inaugurated twelve years back in his tenure is the most successful train.
The minister also announced to provide rupees hundred million yearly for the construction of the dams as a contribution from Railways.
He announced that the ministry would be charging one rupee extra on every ticket of rupees hundred and would charge two rupees on the ticket which costs more than a hundred. For the air-conditioned sleeper coaches, the fare would be raised up to rupees ten.
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