ISLAMABAD  - The federal minister for railways locked horns with a sitting MNA Sheikh Rashid Ahmad on Thursday over an issue of black listing a Chinese company, which is accused of providing feeble locomotive to the Pakistan Railway.

Scuffle erupted between incumbent Federal Minister for Railway Khawaja Saad Rafique and former railway minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmed over the performance of Railway that was on the agenda of National Standing Committee on Railways, which meet in Parliament House Islamabad.

Both exchanged harsh words soon after Federal Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique presented a detail briefing to the committee and informed that two Chinese companies have been black listed and the ministry already filed Rs2.5 billion lawsuit against one Chinese company over providing feeble locomotives.

A meeting of the Standing Committee on Railways was held under the Chairmanship of MNA Syed Naveed Qamar regarding comprehensive briefing on the locomotives by the Ministry of Railways, detail inquiry report of explosion on a railways track near Karachi and derailment of Khushaal Khan Khattak train due to bomb blast on railway track between Rajanpur and Kashmoor.

The committee was apprised by the GM Railways about the availability of locomotives deployed on different services. He also apprised that at present 409 locomotives are available with the Railways out of which at present 200 are in operational position and remaining 209 are out of service. The railways minister informed the committee that during the present government due to their hectic efforts the availability of locomotives has been increased as compared to last year of 175 locomotives. He further informed that maintenance facilities for major overhauls and classified repairs are available at CDL workshop, Rawalpindi, diesel shops Karachi and loco shops, Moghalpura Lahore.

The minister informed that capacity of locomotives have been increased to above 20 locomotives per day on average as compared to last year which was only 08 locomotives are available for freight trains. The overhauling/rehabilitation of overage 27 HGMU-30 locomotives has been undertaken under the PSDP programme and all the locomotives will be rolled out upto June 2015, which would be a great achievement of the Pakistan Railways.

  The procurement of 58 locomotives have been initiated out of which 23 Nos locomotives are likely to reach Karachi in couple of months whereas the balance quantity will be received in December, 2014. These locomotives are equipped with caterpillar USA engine unit. After word the IG Railways Police briefed the Committee about the incidents of Shalimar and Khushaal Khan khattak train bomb blast detail. The meeting was attended by Ch. Jaffar Iqbal, Rasheed Ahmed Khan, Syed Muhammad Ashiq Hussain Shah, Dr. Nasir Ahmed Jatt, Ramesh Lal, Amjed Ali Khan, Syed Asif Hasnain, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Qari Muhammad Yousaf, Naseema and Sajid Hussain Turi MNAs, beside senior Officers from the Ministry of Railways.