ISLAMABAD, July 4: Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafiq ordered the officials on Thursday to finalise a new carriage freight plan at the earliest as it was inevitable to improve the revenue position of the institution.
To be executed on a pilot basis, the plan initially would be for two years, the minister stated while presiding over a meeting of the railways.
After its evaluation, a mid-term plan for five-year duration and long-term plan for 10 years should be prepared, he told the railway officials.
The railways, he declared, enjoys an advantageous position over roadways since they can carry heavy loads to long distances.
Taking into account the situation of locomotives, he issued directives that the facility for Central Diesel Locomotive Shop be improved.
The growing challenge of accommodating, both passenger and freight activity on the same transportation system, including issues related to congestion and public safety concerns is of great importance, he said.
Noting the performance of locomotives, Mr Saad Rafiq said that the usage of two to three traction motors in locomotives was a criminal offence which was creating punctuality issues.
He directed that by the end of next year, every locomotive should be on four traction motors to address the timekeeping issue.
The minister laid emphasis on a common understanding of the issues, and for educating and building awareness to foster mutual cooperation.
He announced that the Railway Board would soon be reconstituted to make the body more effective.
The meeting decided that the responsibility of bill-boards would be delegated to Pakistan Railways and the responsibility would be assigned to chief commercial manager.
This responsibility was previously held by the Railway Estate Development and Marketing Company (Redamco).
It was also decided to enhance the Pakistan Railways presence in the board of directors of Redamco.
The meeting was attended by Secretary Ministry of Railways, Arif Azeem; GM Operations Junaid Qureshi; Secretary Railway Board Shahid Ahmad and other officials.