LAHORE: Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad has said that 1,872 kilometres track without any railway crossing or gate will be laid on Main Line-1 (ML-1) with the cooperation of China.
Talking to the media at the inaugural ceremony of Railways Cuisine with the cooperation of Royal Palm at the Railway Station here on Thursday, he said the train would complete its journey from Lahore to Karachi in six hours and from Rawalpindi to Karachi in eight hours after the completion of the ML-1.
He announced to reduce 10 per cent fare in freight from tonight and said that the decision had been taken to remain in the market which would be reviewed on December 25 again.
He said that a Railway Food Court would also be introduced from December 25 and the railways would be able to compete the private sector in food so that they could provide quality food to people at the competitive prices.
The minister praised the new administrative team of the Railways, including the chairman/secretary, the CEO and new chief of the Railways Police, and hoped that the new team would speed up the Railways revival.
He announced a shuttle train between Lahore and Wahga from December 14 to facilitate Indian and Pakistani passengers.
The minister said that the Pakistan Railways had become the only railways in the world which was earning profit from passengers as mainly railways earned profit from freight.
“The Pakistan Railways is facilitating 70 million passengers in a year which shows trust of the people in the PR,” he said.
He vowed that deficit of the railways would finish in three years, adding that train punctuality had been 90 per cent so far which would be improved in a few days.
He said that not a single penny had been spent on purchasing during the current period while the railways was earning profit with efforts of the current regime.
He said the ML-1 was a milestone in the national history which would play a vital role in the economy as well.
To a question, he said heirs of the Tezgam Express incident would be given Rs2.1 million each as Rs 1.5 million of insurance, Rs 0.5 million from the Prime Minister Fund and Rs100,000 each from the minister’s fund will be given.