LAHORE - National Assembly Standing Committee on Railways Chairman Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has assured to get approval for Sheikhupura Dry Port Trust under the auspices of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He gave the assurance while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday. LCCI President Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry, Senior Vice President Ijaz A Mumtaz, former LCCI President Mian Shafqat Ali, former Vice Presidents Shahzad Ali Malik, Aftab Ahmad Vohra and General Manager Pakistan Railways Saeed Akhtar also spoke on the occasion. While appreciating the LCCI efforts for the establishment of Sheikhupura Dry Port Trust, MNA Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that the proposed Dry Port would not only create a win-win situation for both the Private sector and Pakistan Railways but it would also solve the issue of freight transportation in a big way. He said that he would hold a meeting with the Federal Minister for Railways soon to get a final approval that would be handed over to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry for its implementation. The Chairman said that there was no second opinion about it that Railways as a mode of transportation was not only five times economical but the safest also and all over the world including in the European Union 70 per cent transportation of goods was done through Railways but unfortunately in Pakistan the situation was the other way round. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that they were taking certain measures to improve the quality of service at Pakistan Railways. He said that the authorities at Pakistan Railways had been directed to concentrate on automation while tracking system was also being installed so that the businessmen could be able to track their goods while sitting in their offices. This would not only ensure peace of mind to the business community but would also increase the image of Pakistan Railways as the repeated delays in delivery of goods in the past had spoiled its image as a good mode of transportation. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry said that Pakistan Railways forms the lifeline of the country by catering to its needs for large-scale movement of freight as well as passenger traffic. It is a major source of transportation for wheat, coal, fertilizer, rock, phosphate, cement, container traffic and sugar. Being the most effective transport system it plays a vital role in generating development opportunities. Railways has a definite and unmatchable edge over road for long and bulk haulage and mass scale traffic volume being safe, pollution free, environment friendly and most economical as compared to any other mode of transportation. The LCCI President hoped that the Lahore Chamber would get a final govt approval for Sheikhupura Dry Port Trust in shortest possible time, as among the biggest hurdles in the speedy movement of freight is the unavailability of schedule of trains. Talking about freight delays, he said that in the past the timing of train was limited up to 48 hours but now it had been extended to six to seven days and there is a dire need to consign to a fixed time of delivery once complete documents are handed over by the importer/exporter at any Dry Port on the Pakistan Railway network. The LCCI President also stressed the need for 'Refer Containerized Train on daily basis from Bhalwal in district Sargodha to Zahidan, Iran. This is because our exports of fruits to World Market are 200,000 ton, of which Iran is importing around 30% of fruits. He said that Afghan Transit should be made foolproof so that the smuggling and illegal operations could be avoided. Zafar Chaudhry said that the national economy was expected to grow next year and to sustain this growth rate for the next few years, it is imperative that the Railways should be made more effective and efficient. Earlier, the former LCCI Vice President Shahzad Ali Malik gave a detailed presentation on Sheikhupura Dry Port Trust, which was highly appreciated by the Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and top railway functionaries.