Railways plans to establish modern call centres to facilitate passengers

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan Railways will establish Modern Call Centers by replacing old enquiry system to provide maximum facilities to the passengers. “In this regard, bids have been opened and the services of multi-national companies will have to be hired to set up latest Call Centers,” an official in the Ministry of Railways said. To a question, the official said that Pakistan Railways has taken several steps to meet the international standard in passenger sector during the last five years. “A new passenger reservation system has been introduced including e-ticketing and now passengers can book their ticket online. It will be a new culture of reservation and passenger facilitation,” he added. He said that introduction of value added trains has been started and the department has completed value-addition of Karachi Express, Karakurum Express, Green Line and Business Express. “Modern facilities like Wi-Fi, complimentary newspaper, drinking water, tea and lunch /dinner and public address system have been introduced in these trains,” he added.

He said Pakistan Railways has introduced hand held digital devices for computerised reservation in trains and ticket less checking etc.

“SMS alert service for passengers has been launched for green line train and in future the facility will be extended to passengers of all trains,” the official added.

He said that Pakistan Railways is installing Computer Based Interlocking System (CBIS) on its track in order to enhance capacity and improve safety of the train operations.

In the freight sector, the official said Pakistan Railways has inducted modern Ho-per trucks to deal with bulk transportation of coal and 4000-4500 Horse Power freight specific locomotives have been added in the existing fleet.

To a question, he said that no discount in tickets is being granted by Pakistan Railways to in service or retired employees of armed forces and given no discount to other government employees as well.

301 projects under implementation for development in less developed districts

ISLAMABAD (APP): Around 301 projects are being implemented in less developed districts to bring a considerable improvement in their socio-economic condition. An amount of Rs 205 billion was allocated for 301 development projects in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP-2017-18) other than block allocation for less developed districts and special areas. The funds allocated are aimed to supplement efforts of the provincial governments. Of the total, 6 projects are being implemented in less developed districts of Punjab, 7 in Sindh, 50 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), 143 in Balochistan, 27 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), 40 in Giglit-Baltistan (GB), 18 in FATA and 10 in multiple districts. In addition, block allocations were provided to special areas. An amount of Rs 61.5 billion was earmarked as block allocation for development activities in three Special Areas out of which an amount of Rs 43.898 billion has been utilized.

A document highlighting achievements and plans for this year on Sunday revealed that during just ended fiscal year, 154 development projects have been completed in AJK.

PARC trains 40 beekeepers to enhance honey production

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) in collaboration with National Tea and High Value Crop Research Institution (NTHRI) had trained 40 honeybee keepers in order to enhance honey production in the country as well as for increasing the farmers’ income particularly small scale and landless farmers across the country. The farmers were trained in a three-day training workshop, which was organised for the management of honeybee colonies for the production of quality honey and pollination of crops, says a press release. The objectives of this course were the capacity building of beekeepers, farmers, extension workers, foresters, students, scientists and staff of PARC, NTHRI and local community regarding domestication and management of honeybee colonies, their seasonal management control of honeybee ecto-parasitic mites and other different pests and diseases. The other objective of the course was to educate the participants and raise awareness among them.

Fish exports up 16.33 percent in eleven months of last FY

ISLAMABAD (APP): The exports of fish and fish preparations from the country witnessed increase of 16.33 percent during the first eleven months of last fiscal year (2017-18) as against the corresponding period of last year. Pakistan export seafood worth $423.996 million during July-May (2017-18) as compared to the exports of $364.481 million in July-May (2016-17), showing an increase of 16.33 percent, according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). In terms of quantity, the fish exports from the country witnessed increase of 24.84 percent by growing from trade of 143,313 metric tons last year to 178,906 metric tons during 2017-18. It is pertinent to mention here that the overall food exports into the country during the period under review witnessed increase of 30.80 percent. The food exports during the first eleven months of the outgoing fiscal year were recorded at $4,479 million against the imports of $3,425 million, according to PBS data.

Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the fish exports from the country increased by 9.2 per cent during the month of May 2018 when compared to the same month of last year.

The fish exports in May 2018 were recorded at $ 52.431 million against the imports of $ 48,012 million in May 2017, the data revealed. On month-on-month basis, the fish exports from the country however decreased by 6.31 percent during May 2018 as compared to eh exports of $55.960 million in April 2018.