KARACHI – Secretary, Railways Arif Azam has said that a number of development schemes have been initiated for rehabilitation of infrastructure and sick locomotives.

This he said while briefing the meeting of Senate’s standing committee on Railways here on Saturday.  The meeting chaired by Senator Maulana Gul Naseeb Khan, chairman of the committee reviewed the affairs of PR including newly launched business train, Karachi Circular Project and encroachments of its land.  The committee was informed that the business train was launched on January 2012 in collaboration with a private firm M/S Four Brothers after the approval of the cabinet for provision of better facility to passengers on affordable rates. The private firm is handling all commercial activities while Pakistan Railways is performing operational activities to operate the this train.

The Secretary informed that old tracks are being rehabilitated for smooth train operation. Senator Ms. Suriya Amiruddin proposed that a new train from Karachi to Quetta should also be introduced like newly launched business train. The Chairman of the Standing Committee said that railways department is the backbone of our economy and stressed the need of taking effective and immediate measures for its rehabilitation.

The committee was also briefed about Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), which had been suspended since 1999 due to financial constraints. It was also informed that the governemnt in the year 2004 decided to revive KCR project to reduce burden on roads. In this connection, proposals were sought from International firms and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) showed its interest and has so far completed detailed study. Senator Prof. Mohammad Ibrahim, Senator, Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi and Senator Suriya Amiruddin, attended the meeting.