ACCORDING to a news item appearing in the local press, Pakistan plans to purchase diesel locomotive from South Korea as its railways is facing problems due to shortage of these engines.
Many people may not know that it is a fact that Pakistan possesses a full-fledged locomotive-manufacturing factory at Risalpur that was set up in 1992 with the cooperation of Japan. The factory can manufacture locomotives indigenously, including their spares.
Despite availability of this factory, we’re still thinking of purchasing locomotives from South Korea.
Keeping this in view, one would like to put the following questions to the railways authorities: In the presence of this factory, what made them think of buying the readymade locomotives from S. Korea?
Why can’t the unserviceable locomotives be recovered in this factory that has complete spares-manufacturing facilities too?
If the factory isn’t manufacturing locomotives and their spares which is its primary job, then what else is it doing? Why is it maintaining a huge workforce and paying them salaries besides maintaining a huge infrastructure?
A developing country like ours should strive for self-reliance whereas we are looking towards importing ready-made stuff from abroad.
Why did the railways authorities wait for the present situation to develop, i.e., acute shortage of locomotives? There’s something called planning and forecasting. Why wasn’t it put into practice?
One would like to ask senior railways officials to take stock of the situation and take measures to make the best use of the installed facilities in the local locomotive factory.
We must manufacture locomotives in this factory according to a phased programme and recover unserviceable ones by utilising the spares’ manufacturing facilities of the same factory.
A.A. KHAN Rawalpindi