PAKISTAN Railways is an important department and is vital for our economy. But it faces many issues. Recently, I travelled in Karachi Express from Karachi to Lahore. I found fares higher than the past. When I entered my coach, there were no curtains, no charging points, while bathrooms were dirty.
I suggest the railways should have overhead bridges at all stations to facilitate travellers. Trains and platforms should be at the same level. At the moment, station platforms are lower than train footboards.
Then we should have clean and green environment at and around stations.
We should purchase engines which run on solar energy. China has launched solar energy railway track. There should be an emergency clinic and a doctor in every train.
The government needs to improve railway cargo. If this is done, we can get rid of trailers and oil tankers. This will reduce air pollution and accidents on roads.
There should be work stations in trains for railway officials to make monitoring workers effective.
The booking system should also be made easier, for the present online booking system is not much effective as it shows almost all train seats booked all the time. Surprisingly, at reservation offices the same seats are available.
The authorities should also ensure security of passengers and officials. Since information officers are unable to provide correct information about the arrival and departure of trains, there should be an effective tracking system.
There should also be a railway workshop in each province while there is only one in Lahore. If there is some problem with a railway engine in Quetta, they have to bring that engine to Lahore. It consumes too much time and money.
The railway authorities should look into these issues and consider the above suggestion for improving railway.
Mansoor Ahmed Jamali
Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2019