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Train shortage derails Chiniot trade

November 17, 2009


CHINIOT, Nov 16 Known for its good quality of furniture, the town has been left at the mercy of road transport to dispatch its consignments to other cities after Chenab Express's stop at the Chiniot railway station was terminated four years ago. Established in 1927, Chiniot station was once a big attraction for furniture traders and commuters because of trains' cheap fare and less travelling time.

Chenab Express would help furniture traders of city because of its economical fares, safety of furniture and timely transportation.

Muhammad Latif, a furniture workshop owner, said he would transport a set of furniture set to Karachi for Rs500 through train and it took just one day to reach there.

After the stop of Chenab Express was terminated, now all traders would send their consignments through lorries and a set of furniture would cost them Rs1,000 and three days to reach Karachi. He said truckers would charge more and took more time.

Now, only Millat Express facilitates Chiniot but it has a little space for goods booked for Karachi. Furniture would remain lying under the open for days before getting a berth in the train.

Malik Shahid, a furniture workshop owner, demanded that railway authorities should attach a separate carriage van with the Millat Express for Chiniot furniture.

Meanwhile, the railway authorities have yet to start computerised reservation and ticketing for which a room was allocated some two years ago.

Amir Khan, assistant station master, told Dawn the reason for delayed transportation of furniture was due to shortage of space in Millat Express. However, the goods were sent in a couple of days after booking.

He claimed that 200 to 300 people travelled from Chiniot to other cities every day.

The Chiniot railway station presents a deserted look because of the shortage of trains. It can come to life if a shuttle linking Chiniot with its adjoining Lalian, Chenab Nagar, Burj Mandi and Chak Jhumra is launched.