ISLAMABAD - The apex court on Thursday urged the Government of Pakistan to mull over overhauling the Railways Secretariat from top to bottom to ensure that the Railways operate in Pakistan safely.

These remarks were given during the hearing of the suo moto notice regarding the condition of Pakistan Railways before a two-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed accompanied by Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

The apex court observed that Railways in Pakistan was not being operated as per its rules and manual of Railways therefore the accidents were taking place frequently and precious lives were being lost which eventually results in great damage to the Railways. The court maintained that there seemed to be nothing in sight by which the operation of the Railways in Pakistan could be improved, as not only was the infrastructure of the Railways depleted and non-workable but also its employees apparently were not fit to operate the Railways.

The court added that there needed to be serious thinking on the part of the Government of Pakistan regarding the operation of the Pakistan Railways and overhauling the Secretariat from top to bottom to ensure that the Railways operate in Pakistan safely.

The court said that that such measures were expected to be taken by the Government of Pakistan immediately to ensure that the Railways did not play with the lives of the people and Railways properties were not lost. A report, in this regard, may be made available to the Court by the Government of Pakistan through the Planning Commission within one month, the court said.

Earlier, Secretary Railways submitted a report in the Supreme Court of Pakistan saying that Railways would be up-graded through ML-1 under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The Secretary Railways submitted the report wherein, reference was made to the up-gradation of Railways through ML-I, under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and also to the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).

He informed that ML-1 project was with the ECNEC for approval and as soon as the said approval was received, work would be started. The court expected that ECNEC should consider the PC-1 of ML-1 project and approve it as per the rules within one month.

Regarding KCR, the Secretary Railways said that much work had been done on ground but there were bottlenecks at two points i.e. one due to nullah at Urdu University and the other was Green Line near Nazimabad. The Secretary said that if the Sindh government immediately took action and remove the bottlenecks the KCR could be completed soon. The Secretary also said that there were railway crossings at which the Government of Sindh had undertaken to provide for construction of either overhead or underground roads/paths, so that there were no eventuality of any one crossing the railway line.

The Supreme Court directed Chief Secretary Sindh to ensure that the above three items of work were expeditiously completed to enable KCR to run in Karachi. It added that let the report be submitted by Sindh government within two weeks and Chief Secretary Sindh and Commissioner Karachi be presented before the court on next hearing. Later, the court deferred hearing for one month in this matter.

Meanwhile the same bench, after hearing the matter related to regularization of employees reserved the judgment. The counsel of the employees informed that the workers in Railways were regularized under the policies of 1985, 2008 and 2012.

The secretary told that the new policy was under process. He said that the workers who had approached the apex court had been associated with the project and not direct employees of the Railways.