KARACHI: Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Thursday that a new train like Green Line will be started within a month which will run from Karachi to Rawalpindi.
He was speaking to the media after visiting various railway facilities and officials of his ministry in the city on Thursday.
The minister further said some IT experts had offered to develop a system which would help passengers track the specified train service in real time after downloading an app on their smart phones.
He added that the passengers would get real time information about the location of trains and in that way they could know if they were on time or running behind the schedule. He assured the media that the system would be developed within a couple of months.
Minister visits various PR facilities in city
Mr Ahmed went on to say that the railways would be offering discounts and the people over 75 years of age would be able to travel free of charge. He maintained that senior citizens of 65 years of age and above, besides physically challenged people, would get discounts of about 25 per cent.
He said visually impaired people would take a companion with them at the same discount of 25pc.
The minister said the transport issue of the city would not be solved even if 1,000 new buses were brought on roads unless the Karachi Circular Railway was made operational.
He maintained that he was assuring the Sindh government that the railways ministry would not create any hurdle in the execution of the KCR but it would facilitate it and extend complete assistance to the Sindh government.
“I will be meeting the Sindh chief minister soon to talk on the issue,” he continued.
He stated stern action would be taken against those who had encroached upon the railways land in the metropolis.
“We can construct 10,000 houses / flats on railways land while shopping malls, food markets etc can also be developed on some of those lands,” he added.
“The issue of the purchase of 55 locomotives at high prices will be sent to the National Accountability Bureau for investigation,” he said.
He further said over 600 coaches which were in dilapidated condition and off track would be repaired and brought back on tracks.
Mr Ahmed said he would be approaching the federal finance ministry to urge them to pay the pension of retired railways employees on time.
“I have reduced railways expenditures by 15pc and on our request the electricity company has also agreed to install meters on quarters in railways colonies in the city,” he claimed.
Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2018