Constructing gates at railway crossings responsibility of provincial govt: Rashid

Updated 01 Mar 2020

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Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed speaking at a press conference on Saturday —
Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed speaking at a press conference on Saturday —

Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Saturday said it was the job of the provincial government to construct gates at railway crossings.

Rashid was addressing a press conference in Lahore a day after 19 people lost their lives in an accident near Sindh's Rohri after a passenger bus tried to cross an unmanned railway crossing when a train was passing by.

In his talk today, Rashid appealed to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to release pending funds to the railways department "so that these the gates can be completed", adding that currently there were around 3,000 unmanned railway crossings between Karachi and Peshawar.

He also announced that the Karachi to Peshawar Main Railway Line (ML-1) will be decided by May 10, as a result of which all manned and unmanned railway crossings will be removed.

"All railway crossings from Karachi to Peshawar will be removed and the speed [for trains] will be limited to 160 km/h. This will come into effect on May 10, we have submitted the PC-1 for this," Rashid said.

"When the ML-1 project is completed, the entire railway track from Karachi to Peshawar will be fenced, thereby eliminating all manned and unmanned railway crossings," he said.

Meanwhile, the Sukkur deputy commissioner said on Saturday that at least six injured in the incident were in critical condition.

"Three of them have been shifted to CMH Panu Aqil while the remaining were being treated at Sukkur Civil Hospital," he said, adding that a helpline had been established at Civil Hospital to identify the deceased.