KARACHI - The first train (Awam Express) left the Karachi Cantonment Station at 10 a.m on Wednesday, consequent to the announcement of Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad regarding resumption of train operation after 8 weeks of continual suspension of passenger train operation.

Arshad Salam Khattak, Divisional Superintendent Karachi Division, along with all the divisional officers and Superintendent Railways Police supervised the processing of passenger trains as per the laid SOPs devised by PR Headquarters, said a news release.

DS Arshad Salam Khattak on the occasion said all the SOPs devised by the Railways Headquarters had been strictly implemented.

Presently 11 Up and 11 Down trains would operate daily from Karachi to important provincial capitals and cities. The cumulative capacity of 11 Karachi-bound trains was 11000 passengers approximately whereas the reservation would be done on 6600 maximum as per the SOP of 60 percent occupancy during the coronavirus pandemic period.

“All the SOPs have been implemented in letter and spirit while resuming the train operation and no compromise will be shown to violators,” he said.

He said the Eid occasions were revenue earning seasons for Pakistan Railways, but this time the government, keeping in mind the difficulties faced by the general public, had facilitated the railway passengers by commencing train operation.

The DS also lauded the role played by the railways workers, officials and officers of Pakistan Railway for their untiring effort to carry out required maintenance for safe train operation during the 8-week long suspension period. “Its the railways workers and officers that have made possible the resumption of train operation,” Arshad Salam Khattak said.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Sukkur Barristor Arslan Shaikh on Wednesday urged the people to ensure social distancing specially during Eid to protect themselves as well as their families, neighbours and relatives. Mayor asked the traders to donate Eid shopping amount to the less privileged instead of shopping and outing.

He requested to the citizens to adopt extra precautions to contain coronavirus during Eidul Fitr.

Meanwhile, with sun set, the people of Hyderabad started observing Lailat-ul-Qaar on Wednesday with due religious reverence and sanctity like other parts of the country.

Amidst lockdown, the citizens preferred to go Masajid of their respective areas to offer prayers. Special prayers for the integrity, solidarity, progress and prosperity were also offered.

On the directives of the district administration, the Police deployment was ensure, however, no untoward incident was reported, the Police spokesman informed.