Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pakistan Railways operate Eid trains despite resource constraints

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

The second Eid Special Train, with 890 passengers on board, left Karachi Cantonment Station for Rawalpindi at its schedule departure time of 11 am on August 17. The Pakistan Railways will be operating three special trains on Eid-ul-Fitr.

The first Eid special train had left Karachi Cantonment Station on August 16 with 780 passengers on board while the third Eid special train will operate from Peshawar to Lahore on August 18 which would be of economy class to cater to the rush.

The Pakistan Railways, General Manager (Operation), Junaid Qureshi, saw off the train on August 17, stating that the organization operated three special trains this year despite difficult conditions and resource constraints.

Talking to the media at Cantonment Station, the GM explained that Railways was being run under heavily odd conditions and that even in such circumstances the work of the operational, commercial and other staff merited appreciation.

Later chairing a meeting of some Principal Officers from Lahore and Divisional officers, Junaid Qureshi reviewed the railway’s problems of mechanical nature, locomotives and rehabilitation of track.

The Pakistan Railways, Divisional Superintendent, Karachi, Anzar Ismail Rizvi, categorically denied black marketing of tickets as reported in a section of the press.

He said that unlike the previous years, this year more stringent measures had been taken to check black marketing of tickets and it was due to this  that not a single such complaint as well as excess fare payment was received.

He remarked that in both the Eid special trains, the railways has provided better facilities of light, water and washrooms and travelling people appreciated the same.

In the context of alleged report of black marketing of tickets, the DS Railways said that reservation for two Special trains had started on August 11 with booking of 313 seats at city station reservation office, 388 on 12th, 401 on 13th, 150 on 14th, 116 on 15th and 275 on 16th. He said even left over seats were purchased by intending passengers from Cantonment Station’s current reservation counter even before the departure of trains.

At Cantonment Station’s current booking office, the railway earned a revenue of Rs 1.4 million on August 12, Rs 1.5 million on 13th, Rs 1.65 million on 14th, Rs 1.965 million on 15th and a record Rs 3.293 million on 16th.

He contended that these figures were self-explanatory to negate the report of black marketing of tickets.

Meanwhile in a major operation the Pakistan Railways Karachi Division retrieved its 18 acres of precious land near Shah Latif Town which had been occupied by powerful land mafia.

The Divisional Superintendent, Anzar Ismail Rizvi, disclosed that  this 18 ares piece of land was part of 357 acres of land located in Jumma Goth near Shah Latif Town and was meant for rehabilitation of people who would face dislocation during execution of Karachi Circular Railway project.

He revealed that the land was reoccupied by the railway authorities after an operation carried out with the help of the district administration.