An agreement was signed between Pakistan Railways and National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) for upgradation of different railway stations here at Railway headquarters on Saturday.

PR Chief Executive Officer Javed Anwar and NESPAK Managing Director Amjad Ali Khan singed the agreement.

Addressing the ceremony, Federal Minister for Pakistan Railways (PR) Khawaja Saad Rafique said that upgradation of railway stations would be carried out through Planning Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and from the revenue budget. He said that under the first phase in current fiscal year Rs 500 million had been allocated in PSDP for the upgradation of major railway stations.

He said that modernization theme had been devised for this purpose, adding that number of facilities would be added including shopping arcades, play lands and others so that railway stations become hub of activities. Under first phase Karachi City, Karachi Cantt, Raiwind, Peshawar, Quetta, Hassan Abdal, Narowal, Nankana Sahib, Okara, Sahiwal, Rawalpindi, Bahawalpur, railway stations would be upgraded. Saad Rafique said that bank square was also part of plan which would be made during upgrdadtion of Gujranwala railway station.

He further said that railway stations which would be upgraded through revenue budget includes Karachi Drigh road railway station, RY Khan, Faisalabad, Nowshera, Sargodha and Sibi railway stations adding that facility of generators, clean drinking water, proper sitting area, washrooms and fans would be ensured.

Vertical apartments would be constructed for the workers while Rs 300 million have been set aside for the construction of staff quarters for ensuring residency improvement.

To a question, he said that upgradation of those railway stations was on priority where the number of passengers was high.

To another query, he said that China would made good amount of investment with which upgradation of ML1 from Karachi to Peshawar would be carried out.

Consultancy agreement in this regard would be done between Chinese consultants, NESPAK, a subsidiary of railways (Pakistan Railway Advisory & Consultancy Services Limited), PRACS, he added.

To another question, he said that PR police would soon be equipped with gadgets including metal detectors, walk through gates, weapons, bikes and cars adding that a summery to increase their salaries has been moved.He said that by next year e-ticketing would be introduced in railways and advertisement in this regard would be made so that high profile companies come forward for doing this task.