ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Railways (PR) has taken certain initiatives for rehabilitation of locomotives to improve business operation and control deficit.  A PR official told APP on Sunday that the department was working on rehabilitation of 27 D.E. locomotives for which a contract had been singed and spare parts would be received soon. The Pakistan Railways has also taken a number of steps for increasing its revenue, he said. He said that recently the commercial management of two trains, including Business Train and Shalimar, had been outsourced to private parties. Three new dry ports are being established in public-private sector out of which Prem Nagar has been inaugurated while the other two at Aza Khel and Multan are in process, he added.

The initiative of extension of ECO Train will further strengthen the rail business and augment the revenue generation, he said. Steps are underway to outsource the commercial management of Subk Raftar and Subk Kharam Railcars running between Rawalpindi and Lahore. The PR is working on commercial management of a new train between Lahore and Karachi via Faisalabad.  The department is working in collaboration with the Infrastructure Project Development Facility under the Ministry of Finance on Track Access

Regime to allow private train operators to use its infrastructure and idle line capacity by bringing their own locomotives and rolling stock and paying track access charges to PR, the official said.

Replying to a question, he said that the government had taken measures to bring good governance and corruption free culture in passenger business of PR since March, 2008. Special campaigns are frequently launched at divisional and headquarter levels to curb the menace of travelling without ticket. The printing of card tickets and the excess fare tickets have been entrusted to the Postal Foundation Press, with the introduction of some security features to safeguard the revenue leakage by the commercial staff.

Around 41 reservation offices have been computerized to discourage black marketing, overcharging and forgery by the commercial staff.

Public-private partnership for outsourcing commercial management of passenger trains is being resorted to reasonable bench mark for improving revenue on one side and control the leakage of revenue on the other.

The refund policy as well as procedures have been modified to check and control the leakage of revenue due to possible malpractices of the commercial staff.

Due to computerized reservation system, the practice of overcharging,  forgery and reselling of tickets have been curtailed.

The surprise raids conducted in special campaigns have barred unauthorized hawkers and venders from working in trains.

The official said that CCTV cameras had been installed at railway stations in Karachi, Rohri & Lahore to improve security.

Two X-Ray/scanning machines are installed at Karachi and Lahore railway stations. Moreover, walk-through gates have been installed at major railway stations, including Peshawar Cantt,

Nowshera, Attock City, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan,

Bahawalpur, Rohri, Nawab Shah, Karachi Cantt, Karachi City,

Hyderabad, Quetta and Sibi for screening of passengers/luggage, he added.