KARACHI: The Pakistan Railways needs more than Rs800 million to upgrade its 38 unmanned level crossings on railway tracks in Sindh, which under the defined rules, are due to be funded by provincial authorities, but the Pakistan Peoples Party government did not made any contribution in the past around five years, officials told a Senate committee on Wednesday.

The information came during a briefing by the PR officials to members of the Senate Standing Committee on Railways, who visited the City Station on the second consecutive day for a briefing on progress made so far made on different projects mainly in Sindh.

The committee, led by its chairman Senator Muhammad Qasim, held a detailed meeting with the railways senior officials who briefed the legislators about the progress, infrastructure development, issues of unmanned level crossings and progress on Karachi Circular Railway project.

The members are Senator Muhammad Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Senator Rana Mahmood Al Hassan, Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Niazi and Senator Dost Mohammad Khan.

The senators visit the KCR route from Orangi to City station

They were briefed by PR chief executive officer Nisar Ahmed Memon and others.

“There are a total of 400 unmanned level crossings across Sindh,” said a statement issued after the meeting. “Among them 162 unmanned level crossings are in Karachi division and the rest of 238 are in Sukkur division. Under a plan, the Sindh government had to provide funds for up-gradation of 44 such crossings. The plan had identified 17 unmanned level crossings in Karachi and 27 in Sukkur for up-gradation. It required a total of R565.37 million, but the Sindh government by 2016-17 had provided only Rs128.91 million in this account.”

Under the limited funds provided by the provincial government, only 14 unmanned level crossings in Karachi were upgraded while none of the Sukkur division could be upgraded, the statement added.

After identification of eight more unmanned level crossings, the PR now planned to upgrade a total of 38 unmanned level crossings and for this work it required a total of Rs832.3m, the senators were told.

Senators travel on KCR route

Earlier, the senators also visited the KCR route from Orangi Town to City Station.

Following test runs, the City Railway Station to Orangi Station track of the KCR was made operational and accessible to the public in February 2021. The lately rehabilitated track of 14 kilometres between Orangi and City Station entails six stations and 12 level crossings.

In the briefing at the City Station, they were informed that with two railway stations in Karachi, the PR was operating 54 train services catering to almost six million passengers every year.

“With eight platforms at City Station, 14 trains are offering service to some 900,00 passengers earning revenue of around Rs883.76 million. The same number of platforms at Cantt Station is offering services of 40 trains for five million passengers to earn more than a billion rupees revenue,” said the statement.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2021

Opinion

Law & processions
16 Oct 2021

Law & processions

It is up to the police to impose reasonable conditions on a procession.
Is the party over?
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Is the party over?

Many in PTI are concerned how they can hang on till the next elections.
The last fortress
Updated 16 Oct 2021

The last fortress

The state wants to use the social media rules to trample on the right to freedom of speech.
Reopening under Covid
15 Oct 2021

Reopening under Covid

It will be a challenge to deal with all students returning to classrooms and maintaining SOPs.

Editorial

Diminishing freedom
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Diminishing freedom

DESPITE the serious reservations of digital rights activists and tech companies, the federal government has...
16 Oct 2021

Dirty politics

IN her outburst against Prime Minister Imran Khan this week, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz may not have taken names but...
16 Oct 2021

Decreasing emissions

THE announcement by SAPM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam that carbon emissions in the country came down by 9pc...
No need for NAB
Updated 15 Oct 2021

No need for NAB

THE National Accountability Bureau has sent instructions to its regional bureaus to stop processing cases that fall...
Forced conversions
Updated 15 Oct 2021

Forced conversions

THE majoritarian view has once again prevailed in the matter of bringing about legislation against forced conversion...
15 Oct 2021

Transgender rights

MEMBERS of the transgender community in the country are often at the receiving end of both their families’ and...