KHANEWAL

Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq hoped on Wednesday that the Pakistan Railways’ losses would be reduced in the next two years, and vowed to quit if failed to deliver. Mr Saad said that the deficit of Pakistan Railways can be reduced by improving functionality of trains as soon as possible, and for the purpose new locomotives had been purchased from china.

“An operation is underway to retrieve hundreds of acres of illegally occupied Railways’ land,” he said talking to the media during his visit to Railways Sleeper Factory and Railway Station Khanewal.

He added that efforts were afoot to overcome Railways deficit with better management‚ focussed approach, honesty and devotion. He urged the workers of the factory and others to join hands with the government and work day and night for revival of the Railways.

The minister said purchase of 75 locomotives from China had been set aside while 23 more were being purchased by another Chinese company which has ensured the quality of these locomotives at par with US companies.  He said speed of trains would be raised up to 120 kilometres per hour which is currently 80 to90 kilometres per hour. The minister said that condition at all the railway stations would be improved following the international standard. He said that the factory was one of the biggest sleeper factories.  “We are currently producing sleepers for Pakistan railways, but we are sure that with the passage of time we will be able to export the sleepers to the other countries,” he said.

The minister directed the Railways officials to ensure security of passengers, keep an eye on anti-social elements and foil nefarious designs of terrorists. While inspecting the historic railway station of Khanewal, he also directed the DS Railways Multan and Chief engineer to provide feedback for re modelling of the station building.  He said at the moment the department was not in a position to introduce new passenger trains, but it was making suspended trains functional gradually.