LAHORE: Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said that no decision of increase in fares for railway passengers had been made as protection of rights of a common man was the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Talking to the media here at Railway Station, he said that railways would be revamped within 120 days. He said that railways’ deficit would be brought to nil by the end of current year.
He said that he had accepted the challenge to rehabilitate the railways under the vision of Imran Khan and improvement in the freight would be his target.
He said that workers of the railways would be facilitated and twenty thousand studio apartments would be constructed for railway employees.
The minister informed that three elevators for disabled and old age citizens would be installed at the Lahore Railway Station and more elevators would be installed at big railway stations across the country in future.
“I have asked the administration to purchase elevators even used ones on the guarantee of ten years,” he added.
He said that media and advertising companies would be invited to use railways prominent places for publicity and branding to generate more revenue.
He said that online ticketing system would be improved in days to come. Sheikh Rasheed said that all those officers would be demoted who had got promotion illegally.
“Love with railways means love with Pakistan,” the minister said.
He said that he had suggested to shift the railways on standard gauge from Broad gauge under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and railways would be linked with Iran and Turkey. “Overseas Pakistanis are willing to invest in standard gauge,” he added.
The minister said that railways was bound to purchase locomotives on high prices due to broad gauge, adding that he wanted to eliminate this monopoly.
He said that it was the slogan of Prime Minister to nil the debts on the country so he said that it was ordered to the railways administration to deal with other countries in their currencies instead of dollars.
He said the PR officers would work one hour extra every day in the headquarters and in the ministry office Islamabad and Saturday would not be holiday.
To a question, he said that schools and hospitals of the railways would be run on Public-Private Partnership basis.
To another question, he said that he had directed the administration to support National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in all railway cases.
Responding a question about a joint candidate of the opposition for president, he said that it was good if the opposition brought a joint candidate.
He apologized for the inconvenience faced by the passengers on his arrival on Friday at Lahore railway station due to police attitude with the passengers.